Helping Your Preschooler Manage Emotions and Preventing Anxiety Disorder Outbursts

Your child’s outbursts can be prevented by teaching him or her better skills to deal with stressful situations.

In spite of the fact that preschoolers appear to be more mature than toddlers, they can still be overcome by powerful emotions such as rage, fear, and worry. As their brains develop at an alarming rate, their emotions are unable to keep up.

Learning to regulate one’s emotions has some advantages, however: Arizona State University researchers found that youngsters who are able to handle difficult emotions are more resilient and better able to focus on their studies. Studying children’s emotional management has been connected to future academic achievement, including improved math and reading scores, by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Here’s how you can help your preschooler deal with their feelings and avoid exploding into a rage.

Assist Him in Putting a Name to His Emotions

Despite the fact that children can feel their emotions physically, such as a tightening of the stomach or a clenched fist, they are not always aware of the meaning behind those feelings. Label your child’s feelings when he’s having a big one. “Grandma has to depart, and you’re unhappy about it. Or “Oh, your Lego tower fell down, and you’re frustrated,” A more acceptable response may be found by children when emotions are named and made less frightening by the act of naming.

Show, Don’t Tell

The way you respond to your child’s unpleasant emotions conveys a powerful message. We teach our children how to deal with fear, anger, and stress through our own actions. If you yell at the T-ball coach or calmly voice your opinion when you’re stressed, your child may take your behavior as a model for how he or she will react in the future.

Be mindful of what kind of responses you want your child to have, and then act on that information. If you do make a mistake, seize the opportunity to teach your students about emotional control. Your youngster will feel better about themselves if you tell them, “I get sad when Grandma goes away” or “I was upset and irritated when I couldn’t fix that drippy faucet last week.”

Use Books and Apps to learn about the subject.

Look for children’s books that teach kids how to deal with their feelings. It’s safe for children to work through their own feelings by stepping back and seeing things through the eyes of a fictional character on the page. As a way to assist children deal with their frustrations, try Tiger and the Temper Tantrum, by Vivian French, or Molly Bang’s When Sophie gets Angry… According to Kevin Henkes’ Sheila Rae, the Brave or Wemberly Worried, people’s fears and anxieties are perfectly normal.

Take a moment to check out the Stop, Breathe and Think Kids app (free; App Store; for kids aged 5-10). A set of mindfulness games helps people declutter their minds, sharpen their focus, reduce their negative emotions, and sleep better since they reward them with stickers for completing tasks. Emojis and deep breathing exercises teach children how to regulate their own emotions and those of others.

Take Care of Your Child

Every preschooler is different when it comes to how they deal with their emotions. Cuddling one youngster may provide them relief, while running around outside may be necessary for another. It’s possible that your child’s method of dealing with frustration is very different from the method she uses to deal with her nervousness.

Initially, you are allowed to offer ideas. Instead, try stating something like, “Hugging the puppy makes me feel better when I’m feeling down. How about a go?” For example, “Blowing bubbles outside might help you get rid of your furious sentiments” Before having that chat, wait until the emotional storm has passed before encouraging your child to come up with her own answers. As long as she’s having a tantrum, she won’t learn how to control her emotions.

Ask her what would have made her feel better or what she should do if this happens again in the future when she becomes angry. Your child’s response to times of emotional upheaval will be shaped by his or her development of these coping mechanisms over time. Her tactics may evolve over time. But her emotional intelligence, whether she’s cuddling her lovey at four or practicing yoga at fourteen, will remain a mystery.