Your child’s brain is still work in progress

Emotions produce a feeling, and that feeling produces a reaction in the body such as a racing heart when you feel excited and shouting at a person when you feel angry. This may be a simple explanation, but scientists have trouble agreeing on what emotions really mean.

With many varying events going on in today’s world, emotions flare up regularly. Some happy emotions and, unfortunately, many emotions that are tough to control. It’s important to remember that children are spontaneous with their emotions – sometimes inappropriately. We need to support them as they learn to cope with their feelings. A child’s ‘thinking brain’, develops at a slower pace compared with the ‘emotional brain’ so children often need help when processing difficult situations. Remember your child’s brain is still work in progress.

The following suggestions may help you help your child.

  • a daily ‘emotions’ check-in to help your child build self-awareness and self-regulation skills,
  • positive affirmations such as: ‘my challenges help me grow’, ‘I can make a difference’, ‘I am original’, ‘I am enough’ – it’s important for children to choose their own, favourite affirmations that can be:
    • read first thing in the morning for a positive start to the day,
    • used to help cope during a stressful time,
    • read before a test,
    • kept posted where they can be seen,
  • talk to your children – building and maintaining relationships is important because it helps children feel safe, loved, and respected,
  • colouring-in helps children keep their focus ‘in the now’ which means they are not worrying about the past or the future,
  • draw up a gratitude list where children highlight the positives in their lives,
  • a coping-strategies notebook is a binder in which children file their coping strategies and add more as they learn more,
  • start the day with a check-in activity – five deep breaths, list four things they notice, identify three things they are grateful for, say two positive affirmations, and choose one thing they are looking forward to for that day,
  • journal writing is a way to express thoughts and feelings – focussing on strengths and challenges.

These ideas cannot substitute professional support. With the help of psychologists, speech therapists and occupational therapists – and our experience – we at Capulum College may be able to help children who are struggling. We are a phone call away…

The greatest glory in living, lies not in never falling but in rising every time we fall

- Nelson Mandela -

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