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  • #431551
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zenith:

    Yes, please do put the techniques into practice. I want to research emotional regulation techniques further tomorrow (Thurs) morning and get back to you on the topic then.

    anita

    #431586
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zenith:

    I felt like I was throwing a tantrum like my kid. I felt like a kid stuck in adults body unable to control my emotions (ANGER).My little one does it all the time just throw a tantrum or have a breakdown when we say no“- I researched emotion regulation for children and there are lots online information as well as lots of books for sale on the topic, books for parents, books for teachers, for therapists and books, flipbooks,  workbooks, cards and games for children (to work on together with parents or teachers, etc.), all about emotion regulation. These can help you to emotionally regulate yourself more effectively and it can help you as a mother, to model and teach your daughter emotion regulation skills.

    This post is long, but please don’t stress over the length. Read any part of it at your convenience, in small portions, over time (or not at all, of course). I did this research not only for you and for your daughter, but for myself and for others as well.

    Talking about throwing a temper tantrum, From a website, parenting for brain. com/self-regulation-toddler-temper-tantrums: “Emotional regulation is not a skill we are born with…  Helping our kids self-regulate a wide range of emotions is among parents’ most important tasks. This article will examine how emotional self-regulation develops and how we can help children acquire this crucial skill…The inability to self-regulate big emotions can lead to traits like anger, withdrawal, anxiety, or aggressive behavior. All this can snowball into further negative consequences:… dropping out of school, delinquency, substance abuse, and antisocial behavior problems.<sup>​…</sup>

    “The sensitive period of emotional self-regulation is believed to be before children ages two. As proven by science, the importance of early childhood life experiences cannot be overstated. However, this doesn’t mean that once kids pass that age, they’ve missed the opportunity to learn self-regulation. It only means it will be more challenging and take more time and patience. So it is better to do it right the first time when kids are young than to fix it later. If your child is older, don’t despair. It’s never too late to start helping children learn to self-regulate”.

    The article then explains that within the brain/ body , there is (1) “an emergency or quick-response system- the ‘gas pedal‘”: its primary job is to activate the body’s fight-or-flight response, like the gas pedal in a car. When activated, this system allows our bodies to move fast by speeding up our heart rate, shutting down digestion, and upping blood sugar for quick energy, and (2) “a calming or dampening part of the brain – the ‘brake’” This system is slower to activate, but when it does, it slows down our heart rate, increases digestion, and conserves energy.

    Babies are born with a strong gas pedal but with a weak brake. Emotion regulation is about developing and strengthening the brake/ the calming down of the brain-body.

    From www. gottman. com/blog/age-age-guide-helping-kids-manage-emotions: “ Emotion regulation is not just about expressing emotions in a socially appropriate manner. It is a three-phase process that involves teaching children to identify emotions, helping them identify what triggers those emotions, and teaching them to manage those emotions by themselves. When we teach kids that their emotions are valid, we help them view what they feel as normal and manageable…  Ultimately, helping kids manage their emotions begins by validating those emotions and providing an environment in which they feel safe to express them.

    From another website, American Psychological Association. org/ parenting/ emotion regulation: “Learning to regulate emotions, though, is a complex process… Parents, teachers, and other caregivers all play a critical role in helping children learn to manage their feelings… Here are science-tested strategies parents and caretakers can use to teach kids these important skills: * Start early:… Caregivers can start talking about feelings when their children are still babies. Point out when book or movie characters feel sad, happy, angry, or worried. * Connect: Studies show that children who have a secure, trusting relationship with their parents or caregivers have better emotion regulation… * Talk and teach: Teach your children to recognize and name their emotions. Don’t bother trying to have the conversation while they’re upset, however. “When things are calm, find opportunities to talk about feelings and strategies for managing them… * Model good behavior: Have you heard the old saying ‘Do as I say, not as I do’? “Research shows that’s ridiculous… Children learn by modeling what their parents are doing, not saying * Stay calm: Modeling good behavior is easier said than done—especially when your preschooler is throwing the world’s biggest tantrum. If you’re about to lose your cool, take a minute to breathe and calm down before you address the situation. “Walk into the other room and come back once you’re calmer… You’re not avoiding the situation, but you can avoid making an impulsive reaction..

    “* Plan options: When your child is calm, talk about some ways they can handle a tricky situation. Imagine they pushed a classmate who had a toy they wanted to play with. When things are calm, talk about different choices they could make next time: They could tell the teacher, ask the classmate to take turns, or find something else to play with. This process can help your child develop problem-solving skills. * Act it out: Once you talk about possible options, it’s time to practice. ‘Role play and rehearse,’.. Take turns pretending to be your child and their classmate. With practice, kids will begin to apply those new skills in the real world.

    “* Punish less, praise more: It’s tempting to give consequences for bad behavior. But strict punishment makes behavior worse, not better… caregivers should spend a lot of time focusing on positive attention, praise, and rewards for good behavior… If your child always screams when it’s time to leave the playground, don’t punish them for the outburst. Instead, offer lots of praise and maybe a small reward when they leave without a tantrum. ‘Instead of punishing a child for an unwanted behavior, praise the behavior you’d like to see in its place,’.. * Be a team: For kids who are struggling to learn emotion regulation, consistency is key. ‘It’s really important for parents, grandparents, teachers, and other caregivers to work together to address a child’s self-regulation problems,’…. * Check your expectations: Don’t expect your child to behave perfectly, especially if they’re genuinely scared or stressed… In a highly stressful situation, children need more adult support…

    ” * Take the long view: … When you feel frustrated by your child’s behavior, remember that emotion regulation takes time…’It’s important to develop a strong, positive relationship with your child… ‘Kids learn from people they trust.”

    Another very resourceful website, heartmindonline.org/resources/12-self-regulation-strategies-for-young-children: “Adults can help children follow a 3-Step Recipe for Self-Regulation… Step 1Notice the feeling – Help the child tune into how their body is feeling. Ask questions like: What is going on in your body right now? How does your tummy feel? How does your throat feel? Do your muscles feel tight or relaxed? Is your heart beating quickly? Are your eyes making tears? Step 2: Name the feeling – Invite the child to name how they are feeling. Affirm their answer (“yes, I can see from your tears that you’re feeling sad right now”) and extend upon it to build their emotional vocabulary and awareness (“I bet you might be feeling disappointed too, I know you really wanted to keep playing at the park”). Step 3: Respond to the feeling – … engage them in a brief activity to boost self-regulation… 1) Spend 5 minutes in a calm, quiet space with the child. Offer to hold the child, talk, sing, sway, or just sit together in silence. Connection is a key component of self-regulation…2) Pause for a listening break. Listen to a kid-friendly meditation with the child… soothing music… 3) Do the rainbow breath… 4) Sing vowel sounds together… 5) Paint their face…

    “6) Cool things down. Offer the child a cool glass of water, some frozen fruit or a popsicle, or run their wrists under cold water (you could even offer a cold shower or bath for the brave at heart!). Exposure to tolerable cold can act as a mini “shock” to the nervous system and help it reset.

    “7) Smell the flowers. The scent of lavender can decrease anxiety and reduce stress… smell fresh or dried lavender flowers together instead, focusing on how the scent makes them feel.

    “8) Move like an animal. Ask the child what animal they feel like right now, then invite them to move how that animal moves (e.g. a grumpy bear might stomp around the room, or a sad snake might slowly slither on their stomach). Then ask them what animal they would rather feel like, and invite them to move that way instead (eg. a happy bird might flit around the room on tip toe ). This activity, inspired by somatic therapy, helps children shift their emotions by moving in a way that matches their desired emotional state.

    “9) Have a smiling contest. Face the child with your cheesiest grin, and have them do the same. See how long you can both keep smiling for. Research shows that facial expressions ca have a small, but significant impact on our emotions: turning your frown upside down can really make you happier!

    10) Tense then release. Invite the child to clench their fists as tight as they can, then exhale to release. Repeat several times, or see what it feels like to tense different body parts like their legs, arms, or even their face! This exercise is a form of progressive muscle relaxation, which has been proven to decrease heart rate and reduce cortisol levels.

    11) Play a mindful game. Play frog jumps, shake it up, balloon arms, or freeze dance together.  By connecting children’s movements to their senses, these games help children to regulate their bodies, sensations, and thoughts…. 12) Reflect together… Ask children to reflect on questions like: “how did my body feel before? How does it feel now? How did I help myself when I was feeling ____? How can I help myself next time I feel this way?

    Books: (1) Helping Preschool-Age Children Learn SELF REGULATION (“focuses on skill-training for preschool-age children..”)

    (2) Emotion Regulation in Children and Adolescents

    (3) How are you feeling right now? (“helps kids and toddlers identify feelings and emotions… Creating a calmer environment at home is a major key to helping children regulate their emotions. So is giving your children a designated area in your home to make their own peaceful space, allowing them a chance to regain their composure”)

    (4) Blow: An Emotional Regulation Guide for Children (“children are guided through the simple yet powerful technique of taking deep breaths, using the imagery of blowing out a birthday candle as a focal point…Perfect for children ages 2 to 6”)

    (5) Emotions and feelings flipbook (“With each flip of the page, you’ll spark new thoughts and ideas…The user guide questions serve as prompts for rich and meaningful conversations, allowing children to explore emotions from different angles and perspectives”)

    (6) Social Emotional Learning Activities for Kids: 50+ Practical Activities for Emotional Regulation, Social Skills… (“50+ activities to use in your classrooms to interact with kids and foster emotional intelligence in them”).

    (7) Creative Ways to Help Children Regulate and Manage Anger: Ideas and Activities for Working with Anger and Emotional Regulation (“Support children to better understand and manage their anger with this practical guide of therapeutic activities… this book provides practical advice for working with children aged 4-12 and families navigating issues of anger and emotional regulation. The book includes over fifty playful, practical, and purposeful activities to use in therapy…This is the ultimate tool for therapists looking to develop their clinical practice with creative ways to help children manage their anger”)

    (8) My Feelings Workbook (“This workbook…  not only helps children figure out how they feel but WHERE they feel. With enough practice children will gain mastery over even their more intense feelings. In the process they learn how to build stronger bridges between their emotional minds and their thinking minds. This workbook contains fun activities… Helping children to focus on where and how their emotions are felt in their bodies will allow them to process and deal with these intense feelings”)

    (9) The Feelings Activity Workbook for Children (“When children can identify their feelings, they’re better able to work through them and express them in a positive way…  filled with activities that teach kids to understand their feelings and practice healthy methods for managing them”)

    (10) My Body Sends A Signal: Helping Kids Recognize Emotions and Express Feelings (” Like us, adults, kids have a wide range of feelings. They get happy, jealous, disgusted, angry, nervous, sad, proud, worried, and excited. But at a very young age, they simply don’t possess the vocabulary to express their feelings verbally. They express their feelings through tantrums, mimicry, physical movements, and gestures. These expressions are often sweet and funny, but sometimes they just drive us nuts! …This book will also expand your children’s vocabulary by offering them different words to express their feelings”)

    (11) The Big Feelings Book for Children: Mindfulness Moments to Manage Anger, Excitement, Anxiety, and Sadness (“Help kids get through big feelings with mindfulness activities for ages 5 to 7”)

    (12) Flooded: A Brain-Based Guide to Help Children Regulate Emotions (“When your brain perceives danger, your body and mind will go instantly into one of three modes-flight, fight, or freeze. Your heart races, your body tenses up, your hands shake, and your emotions take over rational thought. You’ve entered The Flood Zone. When children experience The Flood Zone, their behavior changes. They yell, bite, or run away. They withdraw and lose concentration. They blame and lie. In this state, children are unable to be rational, regulated, or otherwise compliant…”).

    anita

    #431640
    Zenith
    Participant

    I didnt read the whole paragraph yet Anita. I am not in the right state of mind. My little is one literally testing our patience. She cant take a no and literally cries for every small thing then says mean things like you are bad, mean and I dont like you. It really really triggers me. I told her multiple times its ok to be sad but dont use such mean words.

    #431641
    Zenith
    Participant

    I feel like its affecting our relationship. We have lot of disagreements when it comes to parenting. We both are losing our peace of mind because of her tantrums. Sometimes he takes out that anger at me and I take it out on him. It sucks.

    #431643
    anita
    Participant

    Dearn Zenith:

    “(Your daughter) says mean things like you are bad, mean and I don’t like you. It really really triggers me. I told her multiple times its ok to be sad but don’t use such mean words“- your daughter is angry when she says those words. Did you tell her that what she is feeling in those moments is anger  (not sadness)?

    Within the long post I submitted for you yesterday, it says to help children name/ label what they feel, for a start (in teaching children emotion regulation).

    It also says that children need their parents to model emotion regulation, meaning: your daughter needs to see that when you feel angry, you don’t behave similarly to how you don’t want her to behave.

    One of the suggestions in the post yesterday that can help in the midst of a child’s temper tantrum: “Cool things down. Offer the child a cool glass of water…  or run their wrists under cold water (you could even offer a cold shower or bath for the brave at heart!). Exposure to tolerable cold can act as a mini ‘shock’ to the nervous system and help it reset.“- notice it says “tolerable” cold.. and do it gently.

    I feel like its affecting our relationship. We have lot of disagreements when it comes to parenting. We both are losing our peace of mind because of her tantrums. Sometimes he takes out that anger at me and I take it out on him. It sucks.“- I think that it would be very beneficial if you and your husband read on the topic of emotion regulation for children. Look at the post I sent you yesterday, it includes quotes from websites the two of you can look at, as well as a list of books and workbooks that can help!

    anita

    #432182
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zenith:

    How are you and how are you and your daughter doing in terms of emotion regulation? I wanted to re-explain the term a bit, making it clearer for myself (maybe it’d be clearer for you too):

    Emotion regulation is about exerting control over (1)  how intensely I feel distressing emotions (fear, hurt, anger.. frustration, impatience.. hunger, etc.), and (2) how I respond to distressing emotions, that is, what do I say and do as a response to feeling these distressing emotions.

    So, emotion regulation is about 2 things: (1) reducing the intensity of distressing emotions= controlling my subjective emotional experience, and (2) blocking the impulses to behave (say and do) in ways that are harmful, ways that are socially unacceptable, and choosing to behave in ways that are helpful, ways that are socially acceptable= controlling my objective emotional experience, that is, controlling what I say and do.

    anita

    #432798
    anita
    Participant

    I hope you are okay, Zenith!

    anita

    #433043
    Zenith
    Participant

    Hi Anita.. I am good. How are you? I have been thinking about you but then I forget to message you. I have never been so happy in  a long time. We are going India next week for vacation. I was kind of nervous at first but I am so happy that I am gonna meet my parents after 5 long years especially my MOM.I also told my husband that i would be staying with my parents for most of the time so less drama. There is  just one more week left so anxiety is acting up but I am still doing good.

    #433049
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zenith:

    Good to read from you, and especially good to read that you are happy (at the least you were five hours ago). I like it very much that you decided where you’ll stay during the visit and let your husband know your choice: assertive!

    How long will you be there, and what is the anxiety about, in regard to the visit?

    And I am fine thank you, relaxing after 4.5 hours work outside.

    anita

    #433207
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zenith:

    You are probably very busy getting ready for the flight to India, maybe you are on the plane right now: I wanted to wish you and your family safe travels, and to wish you a good visit with your mother!

    anita

    #433210
    Zenith
    Participant

    Hey Anita. I am flying on friday. I still have time.Its just i was busy packing stuff during the long weekend.So i couldnt reply. Its just I am worried about peoples(in laws and relatives) judgement. I dont have the confidence to stand up for myself and be assertive. Lately i feel like i am living my life for others.I am a people pleaser.Due to this anxiety it would be hard for me to face peoples judgementin India. I fear i would get yriggered and get into that rabbit hole.The other big thing is my fear with procession of hindu gods. That would take when i am vacationing in India. I am worried that would trigger me.

    #433211
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zenith:

    It’s just I am worried about people’s (in laws and relatives) judgement. I don’t have the confidence to stand up for myself and be assertive… Due to this anxiety it would be hard for me to face people’s judgement in India“- I wonder if, when you are there with in-laws and relatives, if you can tune out to what they are saying and focus on interacting with children, if children are present, or focus on things in the background? Or you can “listen” to a song in your head, instead of listening to what they are saying? (I am ale to do that.. without even trying, lol).

    The other big thing is my fear with procession of Hindu gods. That would take when I am vacationing in India. I am worried that would trigger me“- can you stay home during the procession?

    Lately, I feel like I am living my life for others. I am a people pleaser“- lately more than before? How?

    anita

    #433212
    Zenith
    Participant

    Lol.. May be i should zone out when they something stupid.Yeah i will probably stay home during the procession.It feels like for the past few years since i started talking to more people. I am always worried about other peoples emotions/opinions as  if i am making them sad by saying no blah blah. May i have been like this for long i guess. Now i am trying to know more about myself thats when i realised i am a people pleaser.I dont talk to people when i am at work. I am always worried i would say something stupid so introverted. Its just same with my in laws. I supress myslef.

    #433216
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zenith:

    Maybe I should zone out when they (say) something stupid“- Maybe you can zone out before anyone says something stupid?

    I used to zone out a lot and nothing that was said around me registered in my brain, it’s part of my ADD, Attention Deficit. Nowadays, it happens when people talk too much, it tires me.

    I am always worried about other people.. if I am making them sad by saying no blah blah… I am always worried I would say something stupid… I suppress myself.

    -I too was so worried about hurting other people, not only with the words I said, but with the words I should have said, but didn’t; worried that I’d hurt people with the expressions on my face, by what  did or didn’t do (but should have done). It was an endless, tiring, exhausting way to live. I was like under a magnifying glass, in my own mind, criticizing my every thought, my every word, expression, act. I used to get so ANGRY for.. not being free, free to just live, to just be without that critical overseer.

    I used to suppress myself most of the time. It was so difficult! It was crazy-making. It is so important to express, at least sometimes, to fully, genuinely, simply express oneself.

    I wish you can start doing it at work, in small portions, just a bit here, a bit there. Same in India, at home, anywhere and everywhere.

    anita

    #433218
    Zenith
    Participant

    I dont suppress myself at home. Luckily I am pretty transparent with my parents and husband. I feel safe around them.Its just when i am with my in laws and co workers or with new people.I know it takes lot of practice to come out of that shell. Yeah its tiring sometimes.

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