By Jody Sargent
As a parent, it can be incredibly difficult to watch your child experience difficult emotions. Whether they are feeling sad, angry, or frustrated, you want nothing more than to make it all go away. However, regulating emotions is an essential part of healthy development, and it is something that children need to learn how to do in order to lead happy, fulfilling lives.
At Unified Family Therapy, we understand that helping your child regulate their emotions can be challenging especially if they have experienced trauma. Therapist Jody Sargent has developed a new trauma-informed intervention called Camp Poly Vagal. Camp Poly Vagal is designed to help children recognize when their nervous system might be overreacting. Using the safe language of play, children can learn to circle back and trust their neural response system to identify the messages of what their bodies are telling them and learn to regulate using mindful coping skills. Unified Family Therapy has many therapists who are trained to help children who are experiencing trauma or other hard life difficulties.
“When you can name it, you can tame it!”-Bessel Van Der Kolf
Tips to help you regulate your child’s emotions:
- Help them identify their emotions: One of the first steps in regulating emotions is being able to identify them. Encourage your child to name their emotions by saying things like, “I can see that you’re feeling really angry right now. Can you tell me more about that?” This will help your child develop emotional awareness and understanding.
- Practice deep breathing: Deep breathing is a powerful tool for calming the body and mind. Teach your child to take slow, deep breaths when they are feeling overwhelmed or upset. You can even make it a fun activity by blowing bubbles together or pretending to blow out candles on a birthday cake.
- Offer empathy and validation: When your child is experiencing difficult emotions, it’s important to offer empathy and validation. Let them know that you understand how they are feeling and that it’s okay to feel that way. This will help your child feel heard and supported.
- Set boundaries: While it’s important to validate your child’s emotions, it’s also important to set boundaries when necessary. For example, if your child is throwing a tantrum in a public place, you might need to remove them from the situation until they are able to calm down.
At Unified Family Therapy, we are dedicated to helping families build strong, healthy relationships. If you are interested in helping your child to learn to regulate their emotions and start feeling safe give us a call today. Whether you’re dealing with a specific issue or simply looking for support and guidance, we are here to help. Call or Text 801-277-6852 or contact us online today to learn more about our services and how we can support you and your family.