8 practical ways to improve your child’s emotional health

𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡𝐲, 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐭, 𝐢𝐬 𝐮𝐧𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐜.⁣

It is equally unrealistic to expect your child to learn emotional regulation in a classroom, playground, football field, in a youth group, or in a music program when there is a low level of emotional health in his/her home. ⁣

As humbling it may be, it is important to note that your child’s emotional dysregulation may very well be a reflection of your own. ⁣

𝘏𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝟾 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩𝘺 𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘦-𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦. ⁣

𝟏. 𝐀𝐜𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐥𝐞𝐝𝐠𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐝𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐲: As a human race, we tend to either suppress our emotions or categorize them into two categories; positive feelings and negative ones. Nevertheless, emotions are nothing more than a biological response to external stimuli. You are not your emotions. With that in mind, you have every right to feel them. ⁣

𝟐. 𝗪𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐣𝐮𝐧𝐤: Unaddressed trauma is much like a petri dish in the hands of emotional bacteria. Some of us have been in a state of emotional dysregulation since childhood simply because we have never dealt with any of our traumatic life experiences. You may not have been responsible for what happened to you, but you are responsible for your healing. (𝘠𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘣𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘬𝘶𝘱𝘴, 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘧𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴, 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘳𝘶𝘱𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱𝘴.)⁣

𝟑. 𝐈𝐧𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬: Your presence ought to be the safest place for your child to express themselves. Make it a practice to ask your child how he/she is feeling…. And for what it’s worth, “good” is not a feeling. (𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘺, 𝘴𝘢𝘥, 𝘧𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘧𝘶𝘭, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘳𝘺 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘤 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦)⁣

𝟒. 𝐑𝐞𝐟𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐣𝐮𝐝𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬: Remain curious rather than directive. The last thing a child needs to hear when sad is, “𝘋𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘥.” The best thing they can hear is, “𝘐 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 _, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘐 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘩𝘰𝘸.”⁣

𝟓. 𝐍𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐳𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞: Seeing a counselor should be as normal as seeing your family doctor. (𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘰: 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘴 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘬 𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘴 𝘶𝘱 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘯𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥/𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘵.)⁣

𝟔. 𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐦 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐠𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐟: The path towards resilience requires a safe space to express sadness, disappointment, and pain. At some point, your child will mourn the loss of a pet, family member, loved one, friendship, and (𝘢𝘴 𝘸𝘦 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘥𝘢𝘺) the ability to go to school. Learn to be uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. Grief will eventually lead you to endurance. ⁣

𝟕. 𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦: Dreams are not based on one’s current reality. Instead, they serve as a portal to help us imagine life outside of our current reality. Dreams are the fuel that keeps us moving forward when the going gets tough. ⁣

𝟖. 𝐂𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐬: The practice of gratitude will always positively impact your attitude. Invite your children to join you in a daily practice of celebrating wins. This practice will help you, as a family, to recognize the presence of goodness when faced with difficult times. ⁣

John Eli
Coach for humans
[BD²] • Be • Dream • Believe •  Do •

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