Children’s Emotional Well-Being: Eight Practical Tips for Parents
(by Joanne Foster, EdD for the website The Creativity Post)
I came across this excellent article to share with you today. Enjoy the highlights below and check the website for the complete article!
“Kids who have a positive perspective about the ups and downs of daily life are better able to stretch themselves cognitively, creatively, productively, and socially. Those who are able to manage their emotions are stronger for it. They’re ready to welcome learning experiences; to ask questions; and to discover new, creative, and comprehensive ways of thinking about the world around them.
Regardless of age, personal growth is about competencies and opportunities—but it’s also about how a person feels when doing things (...). And, because there’s a harmonious interplay between how kids feel and what they do, their emotional needs should not be overlooked when thinking about how to support their intellectual development, skill-building efforts, creativity, or overall well-being.
Emotional literacy is a fundamental aspect of healthy child development. The following suggestions are for parents who are seeking to help kids strengthen their emotional capacities:
1. Be aware. Pay attention to children’s reactions and behaviors (…)
2. Identify causes. Help kids recognize the causes that underlie the feelings they’re experiencing. Encourage them to name and to acknowledge those feelings in order to gain self-awareness.
3. Communicate. Talking about emotions with others can be an effective way to deal with them. (…) Be patient. Don’t rush, or attempt to diminish children’s concerns, or gloss over them.
4. Value self-reflection. Model and reiterate the benefits of thinking things through. (…) Children may need relaxation, unstructured play, fewer demands, music, or alone time in order to calm down, get a handle on what they’re feeling, and consolidate their thoughts.
5. Encourage resilience. Help children develop the ability to deal effectively—and creatively—with setbacks, and also with changes and transition times. (…) Children may require extra support to know that it’s okay to have these feelings, and that they can be reconciled.
6. Foster relationships. (…) Because relationships with family and friends affect the way we feel, it’s important to encourage children to forge solid connections, to learn about give-and-take and conflict resolution, and to develop and use strategies that will keep interactions on an even keel.
7. Consider self-esteem. Children often face uncertainties, have to cope with competitive environments or situations, or meet difficult expectations. Many kids struggle with confidence. Help them believe in themselves. Reinforcement and encouragement from parents can go a long way toward strengthening children’s self-esteem, and instilling feelings such as optimism and relief.
8. Remember the givens. There are certain non-negotiables that fortify children’s emotional development and sustain their well-being. For example: safety, unconditional love, connectivity, honesty, understanding of and respect for their feelings, and sensible and fair guidance, .”
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Carolina Zambom Barboza