5 Tips For Helping An Overly Emotional Child

July 14, 2023

overly emotional child

As parents, we all want our children to be happy and thrive in life. However, children have a wide range of emotions, and some children are naturally more sensitive than others and tend to get overly emotional about things. This can be challenging for parents, especially if they don’t know how to help their child manage their emotions. Having an overly emotional child can be difficult, but with time and practice, your child can learn to manage their emotions effectively.

Helping An Overly Emotional Child

If you notice your child becomes frustrated quicker, gets overly excited, or cries more than others, you may have an overly emotional child. Children experiencing emotions more intensely than their peers is not a downfall. However, it may require some coping techniques. If you’re struggling with an overly emotional child, Holly Spring Pediatrics has put together some tips to help you navigate this situation.

1. Validate Their Feelings And Emotions

The first step in helping an overly emotional child is to acknowledge your child’s feelings and let them know that it’s okay to feel the way they do. Children with big feelings need to know that their emotions are valid and that they are not alone in their feelings. Some great ways to ensure you’re validating your child’s emotions are to show you are intently listening with voice and body language and following up with validating statements. Some of these statements may include

  • “I can understand why you’re upset”
  • “That must be very difficult”
  • “It makes sense that you feel sad”
  • “I would feel bad in that situation, too”

When you validate your child’s emotions, you create a safe space for them to express themselves.

2. Teach Them To Separate Their Feelings And Behaviors

Sometimes, children can become overwhelmed by their emotions simply because they are unable to express exactly what they are feeling. When dealing with an overly emotional child, it is important to teach them to separate their feelings and behaviors. Helping your child separate emotions from actions can help them practice mindful awareness along with learning important life skills that will help them manage their emotions and make better decisions.

3. Practice Coping Techniques

Helping your child come up with techniques that can help them regulate their emotions is a fantastic way to prepare them for high-stress situations. Sample pediatric coping techniques may include

  • Self-soothing: Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation
  • Emotional awareness: Coping thoughts, self-affirmations, and journaling
  • Mindfulness: Grounding exercises, breathing exercises, and practicing gratitude

It is important to encourage your child to use these techniques when they become overwhelmed or are experiencing big emotions. 

4. Be Patient

Often easier said than done, being patient can go a long way when dealing with an overly emotional child. In situations where your child is experiencing high levels of anger or sadness, it is important to model the behavior that you’d like your child to model after. Talk to your child in a calm manner and validate their emotions while offering coping techniques to help calm them down. If it helps, try seeing the situation from your child’s point of view. This may help you approach the situation with more patience and empathy. 

5. Seek Professional Help

In some cases, mental health disorders can be an underlying cause of an overly emotional child. These conditions are very common in childhood and include obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), general anxiety disorder (GAD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is important to keep an eye on your child’s behaviors and moods and seek medical attention if you think they may be at risk for one of the above disorders. 

Helping an overly emotional child can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that your child’s emotions are valid and important. Holly Springs Pediatrics is committed to providing quality care to your kids at all times on a wide array of subjects. Do you need more information about dealing with an overly emotional child? Call our Holly Springs, NC pediatric office at (919) 249-4700 to talk to a staff member.