As parents, teachers and occupational therapists, we all spend a lot of energy and time finding solutions to the challenges children face. We toss and turn, toil and tumble trying our best to make things better. What we wouldn’t give to take away any chance for anxiety, bullying, social issues, and fears. When we see a child begin to struggle, our instinct to “fix” whatever is wrong kicks immediately into overdrive.
Emotional regulation is not easy to achieve but possible. Teaching children how to regulate their emotions begins with their knowing they are loved exactly as they are and that there is nothing wrong with them. Another step we can take is to help them understand what might happen inside their minds that leads them to behave or react in certain ways. The more any of us understand about anything the better off we are.
Giving children an opportunity to understand their brains and what occurs during a meltdown or anxiety attack, for example, is giving them power to eventually take some control. Not all children will understand the breadth of the message but over time and in pieces, many begin to put parts of the puzzle together. Assuming they will not understand is a disservice to them and to our relationship as the adults trusted for help and guidance.
The following article is full of ideas on explaining how the brain works to kids and why some behaviors occur. We learned a few tricks and tips we’re going to use and think you will too. Let us know what works for you!