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  • Writer's pictureKa Hana Pono

Learning the Language of Emotions:

Emotion regulation means being able to think constructively about how to cope with feelings. We want children to have their feelings, but not be overwhelmed by them — to feel discouraged but not give up; to feel anxious but not stay home; and to be excited but not get so carried away in their enthusiasm that they use poor judgment in making decisions.  In my experience children most effectively learn to regulate their emotions when they are confident that their feelings will be heard.

Through thoughtful conversations with them about their feelings, children begin to learn that their bad feelings, although painful, will not last forever — that through their own efforts or with the help of supportive adults, they can make things better. 

As a child learns that his/her feelings will be heard, he/she will be less insistent in their demands, and more open and flexible in seeking solutions to problems. He/she will less often get stuck in attitudes of blaming, argument and denial. He/she will be more able to feel empathy and concern for others, and to take responsibility for his/her actions. 

In my opinion this is the most important lesson we can teach, the lesson that is most essential to children’s present and future emotional health. XOXOXOXO

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