Different emotions are associated with different internal body signals (physiological reactions).
How does this affect your child?
Part of children’s emotional knowledge includes being aware of their internal body signals for different emotions. Children who are unaware of their internal body signals for different feelings like distress, angry and frustration may not even be able to communicate these feelings to others until they are at the later stage of a meltdown or tantrum.
Nonetheless, these incidents that emerge out of escalated feelings can be prevented during the early warning stage.
To help children regulate their emotions positively, it is crucial to support them in becoming more self-aware of their early warning signs.
When children are quick to identify and respond appropriately to their internal body signals for different emotions, it is less likely for a build-up of negative feelings to translate into undesired behaviours that are harder to manage.
Children can respond appropriately by learning to express their distress in constructive and socially acceptable ways. With support, children can learn relaxation methods to calm down and prevent further escalation.
They can also learn to indicate what they are feeling and the intensity of their feeling through talking or other methods like an emotion thermometer (intensity scale).
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- Webster-Stratton, C. (1999). How to promote children’s social and emotional competence. London: Sage.