How to Help Your Children Deal with Big Feelings

Tips for Strengthening Your Kids Emotional Intelligence

If you have ever run or managed a company, you would agree that how you oversee your home's day-to-day functions can resemble a business as a parent. Everyone within your home has their roles and duties, and if something is amiss, it's almost always trickling from the top down; this is why, as mothers, we have to manage our inner self to be the best for our children. The way we perform ultimately affects the entire team's outcome.

Emotional management is a vital skill to have. When we teach our children how to regulate their feelings, we equip them with the tools they need to grow emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. In my home, I use the analogy of a store to teach my children emotional management. This analogy is easy for children to understand and helps us operate successfully as a team.

In this analogy, your life is the store, and you are the manager. Your store's employees are your emotions, and the customers are life situations.

The Store- Life

The Manager- You

The Employees- Your Emotions

The Customers- Life Situations

As the manager, you are in charge of your employees (your emotions) in this analogy. Your employees must be adequately managed if you expect them to offer exceptional service to your customers (life situations). Therefore, it's your responsibility to train your employees (emotions) as the manager.

Unlike our jobs, our emotions are lifetime employees we can't fire; we have to work with them continuously. Therefore, you must adequately train your employees (emotions) to handle customers (life situations) or more meaningful choices.

Ignoring your employees (emotions) will allow them to wreak havoc when dealing with your customers (life situations).

There are various things we feel, be them positive or negative, but if we have no control over these feelings, they will inevitably control us. So, again, using the store analogy can help you explain to your children the importance of training their emotions.

It's important to note that you have to deal with your stuff. If you don't, it will ultimately affect your children if you do not heal, regardless of how intentional you are as a mother. I had to learn this the hard way. Parenting will bring to your attention the unhealed parts of yourself. My traumas began to surface on my parenting journey, which prompted me to equip my children with the tools to work through their own emotions.

If you're struggling with teaching your children how to manage what they feel, you must first understand yourself. Then, be open to discussing emotions, what they can mean, and how to deal with them.

Here are some valuable tips I have utilized to teach my children emotional regulation that I'd like to share:

Sadness and Grief

I lost my father and sister to drug overdose and addiction. These losses have caused me to experience a great deal of grief. I used to have random emotional outbursts when memories of them triggered me.

I was sad and angry because, in my mind, they abandoned me. However, once I realized the source of my emotions, things shifted for me. Processing this ultimately helped me understand why I lacked control in other areas of my life.

I started to see how it was causing me to be irrational and lash out at my kids when they made mistakes. I expected perfection because I didn't want them to become like the people I lost. I thought if they had focused more on perfecting things in their life they would still be here. So I had to identify what I was genuinely feeling to work on it.

I began talking with my children about how they felt about losing those family members. I also allowed them to tell me how my behavior affected them. When teaching your children how to deal with sadness and grief, do not hold in your tears; allow them to flow.

When your children see you in a vulnerable state, it demonstrates that sadness is not a wrong or destructive emotion. It is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it takes strength to sit in your hurt.

Do not hold in tears; allow them to flow. If you are grieving, understand that life is a cycle and focus on the good you miss brought to your life. Be honest with how you feel about who you are grieving also.


Disappointment is inevitable. Know that nobody is perfect and that humans are fallible. Understand that you cannot expect perfection from yourself or people because of this.

Please don't teach your children to dismiss their disappointment; instead, help them deal with the devastation they feel when things don't work how they expected. Encourage them not to internalize those feelings but accept this as a part of life. Overcoming disappointment can be a powerful life tool. When children can work through the things that upset them, they gain super strength. Once they know that disappointment does not have to destroy them, they can pick up the pieces and move forward; this emotion loses power.


Teach your children how to be present at the moment. Mindfulness is a skill that is best learned by leading by example. Show your children what it looks like to experience joy without guilt. Find the activities that bring them delight and participate in those things alongside them. After they do something that gives them pleasure, have a reflection session. Have your children recall the feelings they experienced while doing something they love.


Whether we care to admit it or not, jealousy is a common emotion. Unfortunately, children are not exempt from experiencing envy, especially in a digital world that exposes them to so much glitz and glamour. Teach your children how to operate with a spirit of gratitude. Teach them to focus on what they have instead of watching others. Remind them that even the more seemingly successful person has issues behind closed doors. Help your children express appreciation as a way to combat their feelings of inadequacy or envy.


Your children must learn how to breathe. Breathing calms the nerves and still the body long enough to make rational decisions. For example, if your child is easily upset or frustrated, tell them to take ten deep breaths before reacting or speaking.

This simple tool will help them diffuse the fire within and respond appropriately to the situation at hand versus escalating and causing more harm. When children spend too much time in a state of anger, it will ultimately only hurt them, not the person who offended them.

When possible, please encourage your children to refrain from resorting to violence or stuffing their emotions inside. Instead, gift your children with words they can use to express their feelings.

It is not enough to talk to our children about controlling their emotions. Our children must see us exercising our control over our feelings as a model for how they should behave. Children do what they see, not what we command them to do. They will do the same when they see us exhibiting self-control and calmness.


There are many different emotions we will experience throughout life. At times these feelings can be overwhelming. What's important is how we manage those feelings. Life can be challenging, and adding parenting to the equation can thus present significant challenges. How we address those challenges and teach our children to cope will ultimately dictate the life we live.

If we allow our emotions to control us, it will inevitably affect our quality of life and the energy our children get to have. When you lack emotional control, it can result in abuse, personal and professional stress, deteriorating relationships, and unnecessary conflict. Your overall quality of life will significantly diminish when you do not have the skills to regulate your feelings. Children need a healthy example to model their actions after. You are your children's most qualified teacher. They will hold what you show them in their hearts and minds for a lifetime.

By managing your emotions and teaching them how to do the same, you'll create better people now and the generation after you.

About the Author

Christine Copeland is a self-published author and spoken word artist. In addition, Copeland is an entrepreneur, cosmetologist, and instructor who owns a Dallas-based business, Styles by Nicole, LLC. Christine Copeland is a self-published author. You can find Copeland's writings on Amazon or at,

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