Published on April 25th, 2014 | by Becky Castle Miller


(Blog) Modeling Emotional Health to Kids

Kristen Kansiewicz wrote for Wyn this month about a tool that has helped her in raising emotionally healthy kids: the book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. Read her review of Listen So Kids Will Talk.

The topic reminded me of an article that my friend Sarah Kovac wrote for AllParenting, How I’m Teaching My Kids to Manage Their Emotions.

She says, “It’s tempting to be stoic in front of my kids. I want them to believe I am strong and in control. I want them to be comforted by the thought that they don’t need to worry — mama’s got it handled. But what about when I don’t? What if I need to cry, scream in a pillow or just sit and process a loss? Those moments do come, and the best thing I can do is let them in on healthy ways I’m handling hard emotions. Where else will they learn the skill?” Read more.

A few years ago, a friend gave me one of the best compliments I’ve received as a parent: “You’re really empathetic with your kids.” I hope that reminding myself to feel what they feel will allow me to step into their emotions with them and assist them in walking through their emotions. They don’t know how to do that yet, but I believe they can learn.

With my seven-year-old daughter, Katherine, it’s helping her find words to express her sadness or frustration instead of devolving into whining and pouting. With my five-year-old son, Joshua, it’s helping him find constructive ways of working out his anger instead of throwing things and tantrums.

How have you learned emotional health, either as a kid or as an adult? Do you have any tips on teaching healthy emotion management to children?

Photo by Simona Balint

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About the Author

Becky Castle Miller

is the Managing Editor of Wyn Magazine. She is an American expat in the Netherlands, a writer/reader/editor focused on helping women make better lives.

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