Behavior Management: Identifying and Responding to Your Kid's Big Emotions

Behavior Management: Identifying and Responding to Your Kid’s Big Emotions

A baby holding a toy car and crying

Every child is unique. And just like adults and adolescents, children have a wide variety of emotions, and each child processes their emotions differently.  


Unlike adults and adolescents however, children may need more help identifying and responding to their emotions. That is where the adults in their lives come in.  


Adults can help children identify what they are feeling and give them proper strategies for how to respond.  


Healthy habits help set children up for long-term success. Learn more here! 


If a child is acting out or unexpectedly responding to emotions, parents and guardians may find themselves scrambling for a solution.  


Child Focus has put together this quick guide to help give parents some ideas for identifying and responding to their kids’ big emotions.  


Keep reading to learn more about how adults can help the children in their lives work through some of their most difficult emotions.  


Why Do Some Kids Struggle with Behavioral Issues? 


Some children struggle with frequent emotional outbursts which can lead to problems in school or other social settings.  


This often arises from children’s inability to cope with complex feelings like anger, anxiety, or frustration.  


Children often do not have the skills and experience to address these emotions. Add to that a lack of impulse control, self-regulation, and problem-solving, and tantrums and outbursts can become frequent.  


Many children struggle with outbursts, and it is up to the adults in their lives to help them confront the powerful emotions that lay at the heart of their frustrations.  

What Can Adults do to Help Respond to Children’s Difficult Behavior? 


When children are acting out, adults often feel overwhelmed and powerless. You may have tried different strategies to address the issue, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution.  


If you have not yet found a solution to your child’s struggles with complex emotions, then there are many different tactics you can try.  


Here are some of the essentials every parent should follow. 


Do not give in. When you give into tantrums and give your child what they want, they learn that throwing a fit is an effective way to express their wants and needs. Instead, resist the temptation to end your child’s outburst by giving in.  


Remain calm. Children often feed off their parents’ emotions. A harsh or emotional response can end up making things worse. When you stay calm you are modeling the type of behavior you want to see in your children. 


Ignore negative behavior and reward positive behavior. Ignore minor misbehavior as even negative attention like scolding your child or telling them to stop can reinforce their negative actions. Instead, when you see positive behavior, provide plenty of positive and labeled praise. (For example, instead of “good job,” say “good job on staying calm even when you were mad.”) 


Learn more about positive communication here! 


Use consistent consequences. Your child needs to know the consequences of negative behavior. Time-outs and other negative consequences must be the result of negative behavior, and positive results, like time watching TV or playing games, should be the result of desired behavior.  


Wait to talk until the meltdown is over. Many parents try to rationalize with children when they are in the midst of a meltdown. A child in tantrum mode is not thinking logically. You must wait until after they have calmed down on their own to discuss their outburst. Encourage your child to practice negotiation when they are not blowing up.  

Child Focus Helps Parents Help Children 


Helping your child regulate their emotions is no easy task. Children do not have the same experiences and strategies that adults do when it comes to confronting powerful emotions. 


Because of this, even small feelings of anger or anxiety can cause children to become overwhelmed and respond inappropriately.  


The good news is that parents do not have to go it alone. Child Focus is here to help! 


At Child Focus, we have the resources to help parents overcome their most difficult challenges.  


For more information on helping children deal with complex emotions, read more here! 


Our services include early learning, behavioral health, parent enrichment, education & training, and more in the Cincinnati area! 


If you want access to the resources that will help make you the best parent you can be, then it is time to reach out to Child Focus today! We help parents and children in Clermont, Brown, Butler, Hamilton, Warren, Highland, and Adams counties get the resources they need to succeed! 


If you are ready to experience the Child Focus difference, reach out today! 


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