As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S Department of Health and Human Services), handling emotions is one of the main causes of mental disorders in children.
In the U.S.A, 1 in 6 children between the age groups of 6 to 8 years has a mental/behavioral, or developmental disorder!
Most of these issues step from our parenting gaps. And today with these growing challenges, social, emotional, and family support is important to improve the mental health conditions of our young generations.
Here are some ways in which parents can be emotionally supportive for their kids:
Growing up is a complex process with numerous phases of physical, mental, and emotional turmoil. As parents, we must understand the feelings of our kids before labeling their behavior as arrogance, rebellion, or tantrum.
In any situation whatsoever, we must listen to the kids and trust their words/commitments to build a strong rapport. Family rules should be an extension of the mutual agreement and warm relationship we share with our kids.
Make your kids aware of the valid reasons for speaking their minds to you. Because this is the best channel to vent out and express their emotions in the world’s safest place. Always be sensitive towards the child’s feelings. And never consider their emotions less important or frivolous in any situation.
2. Appreciate and accept
Start appreciating your child genuinely for all that they do good. And also praise them for all their sincere efforts. Celebrate the smallest of success with them. And let them feel valued and loved!
Love and accept the child the way he/she is. And do not expect anything unreasonable from them. Create opportunities where the child feels good and valued. And ensure that you never let them down in the presence of others.
Positive reinforcement also works wonders for the child. So never hesitate in appreciating and noticing their efforts as an individual. Cement good behavior with verbal and non-verbal signs. And you will notice a reduction in instances of undesirable behavior over a period of time.
3. Work on creating emotional safety
Stand by the child in times of distress and unhappiness, and create a relationship that is safe to vent out emotions. The child should never feel inhibited to share his/her feelings with you. Because it will help to regulate his/her emotions in the best possible manner.
Children who do not feel emotionally secure at home get connected to unwanted individuals. And are also liable to fall into the trap of anti-social elements or unwanted behaviors in the critical stages of adolescence. For the child, emotional safety means being able to communicate any type of feeling with the parents. Create this ambiance where there is acceptance for all emotions. And listen to the child patiently like a friend and well-wisher.
Remember, your child should never withhold his/her emotions. Because this will lead to a new series of emotional disturbances at a later stage in life.
4. Your emotional strength is equally important:
Before you regulate and manage your child’s emotions as a parent, it is important to check your own emotions as an individual. Teach them how to behave and react to situations maturely. And practice the same in the kid’s presence. Be a role model and display the expected behavior in the best possible ways.
Your own emotions can be a hindrance for your child. And remember if you fail to manage these effectively as an adult. Your child will never feel emotionally stable. Our actions have a deep impact on our kids. So we must work on our own emotional intelligence before aiming to raise emotionally stable kids.
5. Eliminate barriers to emotional security
Lack of emotional strength at home is one of the biggest culprits of emotional instability. As parents, we need to develop resilience in our kids. And make them strong to face the unforeseen happenings of life. We have to teach them how to move on when things are not so good. Because this is the only way of inculcating values that lead to success eventually in life.
At the end, we must acknowledge that life cannot be smooth all the time. And the art of living is mainly about tacking one’s feelings. And emotions in days with turmoil and unpleasant happenings.
6. Give your kids an opportunity to be problem solvers
Several parents intervene in the matters of their kids as and when they see them in problem. This overprotective attitude starts with a spoon-feeding process for them. But deprives them of an opportunity to look for solutions for their own issues. Our kids are very much capable of thinking for themselves. And childhood is the ideal time to allow this constructive flow of thoughts to build a problem-solving approach in them.
Avoid guiding the kids directly towards solutions that are seemingly correct for you. And allow them to figure out what works best for them in any given situation of life. These strategies are a part of online school’s methodology where teachers facilitate the learning process and do not provide ready-made solutions.
Apart from this, it is also important to allow the child to vent out emotions. Because these natural reactions should never be stopped/curbed just because they seem unpleasant at times.
7. Never bank upon your child’s empathy for emotional support
This sounds abrupt but is extremely important in many cases around us. At times, parents often complain and look for solutions from their kids. These cases can be those of bad relationships, marriage issues, and even other disturbances like finances or health. We need to understand that all this chaos disturbs the child’s state of mind. Because he/she is not meant to be a problem solver for the parents any day.
Always watch out for your actions and words with the kids. And be caregivers without expecting moral support from them.
Raising emotionally stable kids is a complex yet imperative process. It requires the emotional intelligence of the parents. And a positive family environment. Hope these tips helped you to take charge of this responsibility better.
So, go ahead and use this knowledge to bring up your resilient, emotionally stable, and happy kids!
Thanks for Reading!