7 Helpful Hints on How to Handle Your Highly Emotional Child
Being a parent is a constant challenge, but it’s even more so when your little one is overly sensitive and emotional over everything. Whether it’s because her sister picked up her favorite toy or you took the exact cookie she wanted from the big plate of cookies, something sets her off and makes her get all upset. Sure, it’s annoying, but this phase will pass, and it will do so more quickly if you try one of these tactics to help mellow her out.
- Use eye contact
Physically get down on her level and acknowledge her feelings, even if you think it’s the most ridiculous reason in the world for being upset. To her, it’s not, and it’s key you remember that. Stay calm and keep your voice gentle and even until she calms down.
- Provide a supportive environment
When your child gets upset and bursts into tears about a broken piece of toast, give her a hug and encourage her to let it out. To her, it’s a big deal and as she grows older, when she has REAL problems, she’ll feel comfortable coming to you to discuss them.
- Validate the emotions your child has
Before trying to distract or in some cases reprimand your child, make sure you truly validate her emotions. She needs to know that you understand her feelings to be ok. “I know it’s so fun to be at Grandma’s house and you don’t want to leave but it is time to go.
- Stick to a routine
As much as it is humanly possible, stick to a daily routine. This way, your child knows exactly what to expect and when.
- Ease into changes
For the times that you will be straying from the routine like going on a trip, talk about where you are going and what will happen when you get there. This will make the situation more familiar when the time comes.
- Allow time to calm down
Sometimes, it just takes a little time for your child to refocus and be calm again. If they’re really wound up, it might help to step away but gently remind them that you are right there if they need you and then let them calm down. Let them know you understand they’re upset and leave it at that. Once they have calmed down, you can talk to them about it.
- Give big hugs
Sometimes, all we need in this world to feel better is a big hug from someone who loves us. It helps us to feel secure and like everything will be okay again, and this is even more true for our children.