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May 2018Vol. 19, No. 4Tips for Parents: Managing Big Stressors With Little Ones in the House

Parenting a young child is an emotional time, filled with myriad joys and challenges. The way that parents react to their child's behavior has a strong impact on how that child develops skills for coping with their emotions. The article Managing Your Own Emotions: The Key to Positive, Effective Parenting explains why having appropriate skills at managing emotions and reactions to young children's actions is vital. 

The article provides a sample scenario where it walks parents through a stressful situation in which their child is acting out. The scenario highlights the following steps on how to tune into their and their child's feelings and turn it into a learning experience where the child can practice working on his or her coping skills:

  • Tune into your feelings—Rather than react angrily to a child who is pushing limits, parents should stop, take a deep breath, and think about how to respond to bad behavior in a way that will help the child learn to accept and understand the purpose of those limits.
  • Tune into and validate your child—Have appropriate expectations of the child's emotions while teaching him or her how to handle disappointments and frustrations.
  • If your child throws out some bait, don't take it—Stand behind set limits and ignore strategies employed by the child to go beyond those limits.
  • Set the limit and provide choices—Give the child a choice to either remain upset or move on to something productive and calming.

Parents can benefit from this straightforward article. It can help them work toward managing their feelings while helping their child better understand his or her own feelings, and it can assist children in developing the coping skills they will need as they grow up, go to school, and develop relationships.

This resource is available at