For children at a very young age, it can be challenging for them to know how to control their emotions. Especially when you have a child who suffers from a sensory processing disorder, there may be times when they get overwhelmed or frustrated and communicate their feelings inappropriately. Fortunately, you can help your child at any age to practice self-regulation skills.
Lead by Example
Everyone knows that children look up to their parents as role models. But, you might not realize how much your child is watching you each day. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you model good self-regulation skills. If something makes you upset, try to avoid reacting negatively by yelling, for example. Instead, take a deep breath and do what you need to remove yourself from the situation until you are calm. Leading by example is the best way to help children follow what you are teaching them.
Speaking of taking a deep breath, something as simple as breathing has a powerful influence over emotions. You can teach your child a breathing exercise that will help calm them when they are feeling anxious or angry. All you need to do is slowly inhale through the nose for about four seconds and then exhale just as slowly through the mouth. Practice breathing with your child and show them that it’s better to take a deep breath in the belly to calm down.
Find Another Outlet
For toddlers, often the source of their emotional outbursts comes from the prefrontal cortex of their brains not being fully developed yet to help them control their emotions. However, a lack of communication could also be a problem. Teach toddlers to find another way to express their feelings. They aren’t quite old enough to verbally explain their emotions in detail, but something as simple as having them draw a picture can provide an outlet and a distraction to help them cope.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.