Keys to raising emotionally healthy kids

Parents want to raise emotionally healthy kids. The key to healthy emotional development in children is helping them recognize different emotions and learn how to handle those emotions in healthy ways. What is NOT healthy is teaching children to avoid certain emotions. For example, there was a time when boys were told not to cry. When emotions are avoided, they don’t just disappear but will manifest in other ways. If a child isn’t able to feel sad, they may process that emotion by becoming angry, irritable, or withdrawn all which can have negative effectives on kids mental health now and in the future.

As children grow their ability to handle emotions will grow too. Young children cry to convey a wide variety of emotions: hurt, sadness, tiredness, anger, etc. But as they begin to better identify those emotions, their response changes from only crying to a variety of responses. As such, it’s important that ongoing conversations happen for good mental health. Talking about emotional well being isn’t a one-time conversation, but needs to be addressed again and again as your child encounters new situations that will conjure up new emotions.

Games and emotional activities for children are helpful in allowing a child to recognize emotions in a healthy environment. On the Smarter Parenting website you can find Emotion Memory that requires a child to think of situations where they feel a particular emotion and allow you both to come up with appropriate response to that emotion. Helping a child before a situation arises gives them control and helps them identify what is happening which allows them to make better decisions.

For more information about raising emotionally healthy children, watch our other vlogs on the subject or visit the Smarter Parenting website.

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