Your Number Story

Help
My Kids

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We can help our kids cope with their emotions by leading them through a three step practice: regulate, relate, reason.

1. REGULATE

When our kids are struggling with big emotions, the first thing we can help them do is regulate. Check out the calming tools under Mindfulness (link to “Helping Kids Manage Stress: Mindfulness) to help kids deactivate their fight, flight, or freeze response. 

2. RELATE

Next, we can validate how they’re feeling. This helps strengthen the attachment bond.

3. REASON

Once they’re calmer and can think more clearly (because their brain has disengaged the fight, flight, or freeze response), we can help them put words to their emotions, and reflect on insights they may have gained. 

It’s helpful to remember that behavior is communication. Rather than needing to “fix” our child’s behavior, we can look for ways to understand their behavior as our child’s attempt at communicating.

How can we accept that our children are doing
the best they can with the tools they have in the moment?

How can we give them tools to help get their
needs met?

Take a pause

Are our own ACEs affecting how we relate to our child? 

Caring for kids can be even more challenging when we have our own ACEs. The effects of our childhood toxic stress may make us more vulnerable to stressors around us, and parenting can definitely be stressful. 

No matter our age, it can be difficult to think clearly while experiencing strong emotions. Which is why it’s important to be aware when we’re on edge ourselves. Here are three things we can do to help ourselves so we can show up as our best selves for our kids:

get grounded
be mindful
ask for help