“It’s alright to cry.”

alone-depressed-depression-3351Dealing with emotions can be challenging (even for adults!). It is important that children feel comfortable sharing their feelings and showing them in socially acceptable ways. As a parent, listening to and supporting your child is essential for helping them learn about coping skills. Talk with your child about what sorts of items or activities are comforting in times of high stress, sadness, or other intense emotions.

Be an eParent®! Create a “virtual survival kit” for your children to access in difficult times. To make the virtual survival kit, make a space on the computer or on your phone where your children can store comforting images, relaxing music, funny video clips, or games.

Providing a safe space for children to explore their feelings helps them learn to voice their feelings and manage them in healthy ways. As children grow older, they will be able to feel and think about tough situations in more complex ways. Paying attention to patterns or behaviors that seem unusual for your child can clue you in when they may be struggling with something particularly challenging. When you see your child struggling, start a conversation and ask about their feelings. You can also encourage coping skills like painting or writing when your child doesn’t want to talk.

You can read more about helping kids cope with stress or sadness at KidsHealth.Org.

To learn more contact UW-Extension Family Living Programs or like Family Living on Facebook.

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