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The Art of Emotional Regulation: Raising Emotionally Stable Kids

The Art of Emotional Regulation: Raising Emotionally Stable Kids

Emotional resilience allows children to remain emotionally stable when they encounter difficulties in life. It is the ability to “bounce back” from setbacks1. As a trait, it won’t just help your children as they are growing up, but well into adulthood as well.

Resilience is the ability to adapt to difficulties, including all the sources of stress in children2. Situations that may cause stress in children include having to cope with online learning, peer pressure, and getting along with family members.

Being able to get through one’s problems helps children grow more confident so that they are ready to take on further problems. It also helps children understand that bad feelings such as feeling sad, afraid, or frustrated don’t have to last forever1.

Emotional regulation as the key to being emotionally stable

Resilience is related to self-regulation. Self-regulation is the ability to control one’s emotions and actions, allowing one to effectively respond to an emotional experience. This is a skill that children learn so that they can resist strong emotional reactions when they become upset, and instead can choose to act more calmly3.

This marks the difference between a child who throws a tantrum because they don’t get what they want, and a child who understands that they can ask for what they want without crying. Similarly, a child who encounters problems in school may learn how to ask for help instead of caving in to pressure.

As children grow up, they may develop further emotion regulation strategies. These include sharing their feelings with their friends, exercising, or taking a break when they needs it4.

Emotional regulation is important in learning resilience and becoming emotionally stable. One study found that there was a strong relationship between self-regulation, particularly in the ability to learn from one’s mistakes, and resilience5.

Resilience, in turn, helps people better adapt to the various, sometimes difficult situations they may find themselves in.

How to build resilience

How do you help your kids build emotional resilience? Here are some ways to encourage better resilience in your kids:

Build strong connections

The foundation of resilience in kids is strong relationships with their families. Strong connections help the child to feel loved and safe1. This also gives the child more confidence to go out into the world and recover from possible setbacks.

Connecting with your kid may also mean setting aside a few minutes every day to talk about the child’s day, including if there were any conflicts or misunderstandings with them6. This gives the parent the opportunity to listen patiently, help their child, learn how to cope with bad feelings, and encourage them to think constructively about solving emotional problems.

Help them help others

Empower your child by encouraging them to help other people2. This includes engaging in volunteer work, or encouraging them to help other kids in class.

Have a daily routine

A routine can help provide structure and comfort to children2. Consistency can help your kids have a sense of normalcy.

Encourage self-care

Teach your child the importance of sleeping and eating well, as part of taking care of themselves. This also includes having the time to have fun and taking a break when they need ite2.

Emotional resilience helps a child face their problems with calmness and confidence, making it an important trait to develop in your growing child.

Learn more about developing IQ and EQ here.

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Sources

1 Resilience: how to build it in children 3-8 years. The Australian Parenting Website. Published on 20 April 2021 on https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/behaviour/understanding-behaviour/resilience-how-to-build-it-in-children-3-8-years. Retrieved 12 Nov 2021.

2 Resilience guide for parents and teachers. American Psychological Association. Last Updated 26 Aug 2020 on https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience/guide-parents-teachers. Retrieved 12 Nov 2021.

3 How Can We Help Kids With Self-Regulation?. Child Mind Institute. Published n.d. on https://childmind.org/article/can-help-kids-self-regulation/. Retrieved 12 Nov 2021.

4 Rolston, A., Lloyd-Richardson, E., What is emotion regulation and how do we do it?. Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery. Published n.d. on

https://selfinjury.bctr.cornell.edu/perch/resources/what-is-emotion-regulationsinfo-brief.pdf. Retrieved 12 Nov 2021.

5 Artuch-Garde, R., et. al., Relationship between Resilience and Self-regulation: A Study of Spanish Youth at Risk of Social Exclusion. Frontiers in Psychology. Published 20 April 2017 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5397523/. Retrieved 12 Nov 2021.

6 Barish, K., How to Raise an Emotionally Resilient Child. PBS for Parents. Published 5 Nov 2015 on https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/how-to-raise-an-emotionally-resilient-child. Retrieved 12 Nov 2021.

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Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel Updated Mar 03Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel