By encouraging your child to acknowledge and recognise how they feel in the present moment, not in the past and not in the future, the 'cloudy' emotions, thoughts and feelings can be cleared.
Over the past two years, we have experienced almost a lifetimes’ worth of change. The instability that the Covid-19 pandemic has instilled within us, as a society, has been particularly challenging for the mental health of everyone, especially children.
The emotions that your child has experienced recently, due to the unprecedented times, may be completely new or different to the emotions they may have experienced in the past, which can be challenging for them and you as their parent or carer.
Managing your child’s emotions during a time when you are also facing new challenges yourself can be even more difficult to navigate – helping your child manage their emotions isn’t always easy.
In light of recent times, here are three ways to make the process a little smoother for everyone involved.
Encourage your child to talk openly about their feelings:
Like shining a torch in the dark to see more clearly, when we talk about how we are feeling, we can better understand why we are feeling that way and the best way to deal with our feelings.
Speaking openly with your child about their feelings is the first step to understanding and accepting their emotions. Smiling Mind's Care Packs For Families offer a range of helpful activities and worksheets that can encourage your child to express how they are feeling, and aid in generating and guiding helpful, productive conversations about feelings and emotions.
Focus on Positives:
Taking in and embracing the good doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Focusing on the positives goes hand in hand with practising mindfulness. By encouraging your child to acknowledge and recognise how they feel in the present moment, not in the past and not in the future, the ‘cloudy’ emotions, thoughts and feelings can be cleared.
A way to practice being mindful and, in doing so, focus on the positives, is to encourage your child to list what they are grateful for, whether that be out loud, or on paper. Offering gratitude, or giving thanks for the positive things, people, and events in our lives will help make your child feel more happy and content.
Children are like sponges – they easily soak up the emotions and actions of those who surround them the most, especially their parents or carers. When your child is experiencing a lot of emotions, more intensely than usual, remaining calm as a parent is very important. For example, if your child is feeling panicked or upset, try not to reflect their emotions yourself, as this may escalate the situation.
By remaining calm and monitoring your own emotions by not oversharing with your children, you will create a sense of safety and security, which will help your child to offload their emotions onto you as their safety net, and offer them reassurance that you are there to look after them.
For more resources to support your child through uncertainty and worry, check out our Care Packs for Families, containing digital tools created by Smiling Mind’s psychologists.