teaching-your-child-to-cope

Coping Skills: An Attribute of EQ

As a parent, one of the major things you can do is teaching your child to cope. Disappointments, stress, defeat and setbacks are natural and at times are frequent part of our lives.

Life is filled with surprises and it is helpful to know how to manage when the waters get rough. Children experience emotions just as intensely as adults yet are often unable to successfully express and cope with them. When adults take time to talk about feelings and offer acceptable ways to process and deal with them, the child benefits immensely. Practicing coping skills when things are running smooth allows the child to be prepared when there is disappointment and upset.

The following is a group of ideas generated with a preschool group for the purpose of bringing more peace to our environment.

1. Take five slow deep breaths

2. Let yourself cry until you are done.

3. Ask an adult for help in a frustrating situation.

4. Ask for a hug.

5. Talk to your parents or a friend.

6. Yell into a pillow.

7. Lie on your bed and kick your legs really hard.

8. With permission, get a stack of old newspapers and rip it to shreds.

9. Go to a quiet place and read your favorite story.

10. Draw a picture of how you feel.

If you invite your child to think about these ideas, I bet you can come up with even more.After a difficult period, it is helpful to have a time to regroup and help the child find the words to express the feelings and what happened. This helps the child to move on with more positive energy.

These ideas may seem basic and simple yet children don’t consider them unless they are suggested. Talking about these choices when things are calm helps the child learn that there are positive ways to express oneself. The parent/child bond is strengthened when we honor the child’s feelings. Calling feelings good or bad can be confusing since they are just an expression of what is going on inside. Telling a child not to cry almost guarantees more tears. As a parent, trust that your child will more easily process and come through the stormy feelings of childhood with your understanding and encouragement.

About The Author

Lois Olson

Founder of The Montessori Children's House Inc. Laramie, Wyoming Montessori Primary Certification 1973
Systematic Training for Effective Parenting facilitator certification
Thirty eight years of experience working with children ages 3-6
Twenty five years facilitating parenting groups
Ten years facilitating teacher training
B.A In Psychology

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