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As a school counselor and mom of two young girls, my day is full of opportunities to help kids manage their feelings. And few things bring out bigger emotions in children than facing mistakes and failure.
Like many adults, my initial reaction is wanting to swoop in and fix things. But then I recall the most crucial task in both my roles: teaching kids to accept and manage their feelings.
Kids are not born knowing how to stay calm when confronting challenges or how to recover from failure. Emotion regulation--expressing feelings in a constructive and healthy way--is a skill we must teach. And it’s a critical one.
The ability to regulate emotions is linked to everything from academic achievement to resilience, and overall well-being. The positives continue into adulthood--long-term benefits include better physical health and even higher income.
Here are 4 important steps you can take to build your child’s emotional toolkit. The first two steps happen prior to a difficult situation, and the final two steps in the moment itself.
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