Emotions are essential for getting our needs met, but when upset--- emotions can also cloud our judgement and make it difficult to process situations. Emotions can be hard to understand and even harder to control for kiddos. Here are a few general ideas to think about and consider to help reduce outbursts along with providing a good support system.
• Provide a safe place for them to go (less distractions in the room the better).
o Give them an opportunity to calm down on their own.
o Give tools that will help with calming instead of just distracting tools (e.g. pinwheels, putty, and other various calming tools promote breathing and pressure that help with calming vs. screen time distracts individuals but can cause bigger outbursts later). You want them to be able to process it themselves.
• More talking from your side is not usually the most helpful for them right in the moment of anger
o Allow them time to calm down and then give them time alone to process things--- don’t just expect them to process through things when they are really upset
• Model behaviors that you also expect from them
o If you expect apologies when making mistakes, also model apologies when you make a mistake
o When you are feeling frustrated, model leaving the room and calming down and then coming back to talk about things
o Good modeling helps promote that positive behaviors you want them to learn to do • Be patient
o Everyone feels emotions and everyone makes mistakes. Reflect after situations (both positive and difficult parts of situation), but having the focus be on all the mistakes they have made
o Utilize these situations as opportunities they have and will continue to grow from
If you have concerns about your child’s emotional control, please give Therapy OPS a call to talk with an OT at 651-455-0561.