Emotional Regulation

screaming child
TJENA / Pixabay

Age 5 is a “big” age as these kids are getting ready for school! Now we have to focus on getting ready for Kindergarten and learning new skills.

Emotional regulation is a crucial skill for kids to learn. They are beginning to learn to have a clearer sense of self. They learn about rules and values that tell them how to behave at school and in the community. They are forming relationships with teachers, peers and other adults. Learning how to manage their emotions when they can’t have their way is important as they are learning to take turns and be nice to someone else when they win.

Talk to your child about “telling” and “tattling”. This aids with teaching the child about rules about how to behave and how to handle situations when the rules are broken.

Telling is when a child reports a problem to the teacher or parent. It’s essential to teach a child to “tell” and try to solve the problem. Three steps to teach “telling”:

  1. Use “I statements”: I am having a problem with Jimmy.
  2. Name the problem: The problem is I’m not getting my turn.
  3. Say what you need: I need some help with this problem.

Tattling is when we place blame on someone else and doesn’t solve the problem. Instead tattling asks a parent or teacher to find fault and/or punish the other person.

Another great way to help emotional regulation is to name the feeling. Each feeling has a name such as happy, sad, etc. If needed, you can give each feeling a colour (happy is yellow) or you can make/print out pictures to help associate the feeling with the name. Expand vocabulary and use names such as pleased, delighted, upset, anxious, etc.