How to Teach Kids About Self-Awareness and Emotional Management

How to Teach Kids About Self-Awareness and Emotional Management
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Mental Healness - Let’s be honest: teaching kids about self-awareness and emotional management can seem like a monumental task. Kids are energetic, emotional beings, often unpredictable, and yes, sometimes a bit challenging. But hey, that's part of their charm, right?

As parents, we often get caught up in the daily grind of activities, tasks, and, of course, challenges. However, there's one crucial thing that often gets overlooked: teaching our kids about self-awareness and how to manage their emotions. Why? Because these are life skills that will help them not just survive but thrive in any situation.

1. Be a Good Role Model

Yeah, this might sound cliché, but you need to walk the talk. Kids learn by mimicking. So, if you want them to be self-aware and manage their emotions, you need to show them how. Start by being honest about your own feelings. If you're angry, say, "Mom is angry right now because...". This teaches them that emotions are normal and healthy.

2. Talk About Feelings

Kids don’t come into this world with an emotional dictionary. They don’t know how to identify or express what they’re feeling. So, talk about feelings with them. Use the right words and help them identify what they’re feeling. For example, “You look sad because your toy is broken. What can we do to make you feel better?”

3. Teach Breathing Techniques

Okay, this might sound like a yoga session for kids, but trust me, breathing techniques are amazing. When kids feel angry or anxious, teach them to stop for a moment and take deep breaths. This helps them calm down and gives them time to think before reacting. Try simple techniques like “belly breathing” where they inhale deeply through the nose, hold it for a bit, then exhale slowly through the mouth.

4. Use Stories and Books

Stories are a great way to teach kids about emotions and self-awareness. There are many children’s books designed to help them understand their feelings. Choose stories that depict various emotions and how characters manage their feelings. This is not only entertaining but also educational.

5. Provide Space for Expression

Kids need space to express their feelings without fear of judgment or punishment. If they’re angry, let them be angry. If they’re sad, let them cry. Help them express their feelings in a healthy way. For example, if they’re angry, encourage them to draw their feelings or play with toys that help them release emotions.

6. Practice Self-Awareness Through Games

Games are the best way to teach self-awareness to kids. Try games like “How Do You Feel?” where you and the kids take turns describing and guessing each other’s emotions. Or, try the “Emotion Guessing” game using emotion cards. This is a fun and interactive way to learn about emotions.

7. Support and Appreciate Their Efforts

This is a long and challenging process, so make sure you support and appreciate every effort your kids make. Praise them when they manage their emotions well and provide support when they struggle. Remember, self-awareness and emotional management are skills that take time to develop.


1. How can I help my child identify their emotions?

  • Talk to them regularly about their feelings and use words to label emotions. Encourage them to express how they feel and provide examples from your own experiences.

2. What should I do if my child has a meltdown?

  • Stay calm and composed. Guide them through deep breathing exercises, give them space to cool down, and talk to them about their feelings once they’ve calmed down.

3. Are there any tools or resources to help teach emotional management?

  • Yes, there are many books, apps, and games designed to help children learn about emotions. Some popular resources include "The Feelings Book" by Todd Parr and the "Emotionary" app.

4. How do I encourage my child to talk about their feelings?

  • Create a safe and open environment where they feel comfortable sharing. Use stories and daily interactions to discuss emotions and encourage them to ask questions about their feelings.

5. What role does empathy play in emotional management?

  • Empathy is crucial as it helps children understand and relate to the emotions of others. Teach them to recognize and respect other people's feelings through role-playing and discussions about different scenarios.


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