Life is full of ups and downs. Read this post to find out how to use mindfulness techniques to help your child deal with frustration.
Life is full of ups and downs.
How we learn to cope with those ups and downs, and how we bounce back from them, are the seeds of strength and resilience.
Watching your child struggle with big feelings, like frustration, or even anger, is difficult. If you don’t teach them how to manage these emotions it can lead to unwanted behaviours, like meltdowns, shouting, or even, hitting.
You can use mindfulness techniques to help your child manage frustration in a positive way.
Here’s five things you can try.
1. Help your child recognize their emotions.
The first step to managing frustration is helping your child understand what they're feeling. This is a core element of mindfulness practice. Encourage them to tune into their emotions and describe them in a calm, matter-of-fact way. When they can recognize their emotions, they can start to understand why they're feeling frustrated and what they can do about it. If they’re not old enough to speak the words, ask them to tell you where they feel it in their body, what it feels like, colour, etc.
2. Practise deep breathing together.
Deep breathing can calm your child down and reduce frustration. It can also be used as a great tool for connection with them. Teach your child to take slow, deep breaths and focus on their breath while they do it. This will help them slow down and focus on the present moment, which can reduce frustration. It also helps to activate their internal soothing systems. Click here to try one of our most popular breathing exercises for free.
3. Use positive self-talk.
Positive self-talk can be a powerful tool for managing frustration. Teach your child to talk to themselves in a positive and encouraging way, reminding themselves of their strengths and abilities. This can boost their self-esteem and reduce frustration. You can help them with this. For example, if they’re trying to draw something and it’s not working out, highlight what they’ve done right. It’s also a good idea to model this behaviour by speaking to yourself kindly when you’re struggling.
4. Take a break and have fun.
When frustration levels are high, it can be helpful for your child to step back and do something they love. Encourage them to take a break and engage in an activity they enjoy, like drawing, playing with their favourite toy, or reading a book. Choose something that suits your child. For active children, this could even be running around! Doing something away from the frustration can help them refocus and calm down.
5. Practice mindfulness and stay in the present moment.
Mindfulness is all about staying present and not getting caught up in thoughts about the past or future. Teach your child to focus on what they're doing and be mindful of their thoughts and emotions. This can help them stay calm and centred, even when frustration strikes.
Why does mindfulness work?
Mindfulness works because it helps children stay focused on the present moment, which can reduce feelings of frustration and anxiety. When children can recognize their emotions and respond to them in a healthy way, they're better equipped to manage their frustration and avoid negative behaviours. Mindfulness also helps children build their self-esteem and resilience, which can help them cope with life's challenges more effectively. Learning to cope with small things now, will help them cope with bigger problems later in life.
Helping your child manage frustration is an important part of parenting. By teaching them mindfulness techniques, you can give them the tools they need to stay calm and focused, even in the face of frustration. These techniques can help your child build their emotional intelligence and resilience, setting them up with positive mental health skills for the future.
If you’d like to get mindfulness activities designed for children aged 3-8 and support from other families 👉the Wee Seeds Nurturing Wellbeing programme is for you. 👈