Sad Kid, Mad Kid: How You Can Help

Helping Sad and Mad Kids

Helping sad and mad kids is simple, really.  You can do it in 5 simple steps and move on with your day. 

5 Simple Steps

1.  Keep Control of Yourself. Mind your own emotional reactions.  Keeping yourself focused on helping your child learn to self-regulate is much easier when you are doing it yourself. Your child takes his cue from you when it comes to managing BIG emotions. Show him how.

2.  Allow the child to feel his feeling. It's not at all helpful to the child when we try to squelch the feeling.  It's counterproductive to say, "Cut it out. Calm down.  It's not that bad."

3.  Name/label the feeling.  "You are really mad right now!  You hands are in fists and your face is red."  "You are so sad.  Tears are coming down your face."  The point here is just to reflect back what you see the child experiencing.  The stance is nurturing and empathetic. 

4.  Offer assistance/guidance.  My recommendation is to always let the child take the lead, when possible.  Ask, "What do you think might help right now?"  "What do you need from me?"  If a child is uncertain or is so worked up, they cannot come up with an idea about what might be helpful, ASK if you can offer a few suggestions.  "Do you want to hear what has helped some kids?" If a child is open to this, give him a few ideas that could help him calm down.

5. Be proactive.  It is always best to try to teach social-emotional skills when a child is calm and receptive.  That way, when he is upset, he can recall your past conversations (and maybe a role play) when the going gets tough.  

Need help with ways to help kids gain skills to deal with BIG sad or angry feelings?Here are two of our resources that help with sad and mad feelings. 

Check out either of the links for details:


Thanks! I use these all but have become lax. They do wonders and thanks for the reminder!
My pleasure! In reminding you, I am reminding myself!

Wendy =)

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