Understanding Emotions and Emotional Regulation
✅ What are Emotions?
Emotions are what we refer to when discussing what we are thinking, how we are feeling and how we are behaving in response to a stimulus (something that happens).
Emotions occur in a spectrum, with
✅ high anxiety emotions (excitement, anxiety, fear) with an element of the unknown
✅ low or flat emotions (lethargy, sadness, confusion) where it's hard to keep going
✅ well regulated emotions (calm, happy, proud, silly) where we feel positive and function well
✅ upset emotions (frustration, anger, upset) where we feel deeply in an unpleasant way
✅ out of control emotions (irate) where we have lost self control over our actions and we may need help getting back in control. This is often displayed by tantrums, rage or meltdowns (these can be loud or silent).
It is important to remember that:
🛑 No emotion is good or bad
🛑 We don't have control over our emotions
🛑 (In most cases) We have control over how we choose to respond and act to emotions, despite how we feel
🛑 Babies, toddlers do not yet have control over their actions: learning to respond to emotions appropriately comes with time and with experience
🛑 Some people with some disorders/disabilities (Autism, ADHD etc.) will find it very difficult to
✅ understand their own emotions
✅ understand other peoples' emotions
✅ control their response to their emotions
✅ respond appropriately to others' emotions
🍎 Activities to Help My Child Regulate Their Emotions:
Understanding and recognising emotions is key to getting emotions under control and responding to how we feel in a socially acceptable manner.
If we can't recognise how we are feeling, then we dont know how to fix it or avoid it next time.
Start with Emotions Flash Cards and
✅ Get to know the different emotions by name
✅ Get to know the different emotions by features - look at and discuss shapes/expression on the eyebrows, eyes and mouth
✅ Practice pulling faces in the mirror and take turns guessing the emotion
✅ Read your favourite book and name the emotions shown on the characters faces on each page - match them to the Emotions Flash Cards
This brightly coloured chart will help your child to:
✅ Identify different emotions and how they look and feel
✅ Identify how they are feeling
✅ Communicate if they need help to calm down
✅ Learn and understand what helps them to feel calm & reguated
✅ Reflect on stressful behaviours and what could be done next time to de-escalate your child (or the situation) sooner before hitting that highly emotional state
✅ Great for kids with ASD
✅ Great for kids who have trouble managing their emotions
🛑 Please remember your child is not capable of reflecting, reasoning or understanding your point of view while they are in meltdown mode.
Save reflection and talking through the situation for later when everyone is calm and able to focus 😊😊😊
✅ Make up different faces with play dough and take turns guessing the emotion!
✅ No cook play dough recipe included 😊
✅ Help your kids understand different emotions and how they look and feel
✅ Make play dough faces and take turns guessing the emotion
✅ Read your favourite book and copy the emotions shown on the characters faces - can you name all the emotions?!