Dealing with children’s challenging emotions

EFT and other self-care tools can help your kids deal with challenging and hard-to-manage emotions 

It is normal to experience emotions that we label as negative and positive feelings.  But dealing with negative ones can be challenging for not only adults but also for children and teens. Lockdowns due to COVID-19 have caused rollercoaster of emotions for all of us while disrupting lives everywhere.  

Children have been integrating the challenges of learning online, while missing out on big events like end of term parties, graduations and school trips as well as everyday ones such as after school clubs and hanging out with family and friends.  It’s enough to make anyone feel a little anxious, angry, sad and demotivated. 

It is natural for parents to want to help their children and to rescue them from unpleasant situations. However, dealing with missing out can sometimes be a beneficial experience – as you know as an adult, sometimes life is easy and sometimes it is challenging. Encountering challenge can build resilience, which means that your child may not struggle quite so much when they run into bigger let downs as an adult.    

You might be wondering “how can I best help my child deal with difficult emotions such as anxiety, fear and worry?” 


Talk with your kids about emotions and help them to identify what they are feeling  

There are major differences between dwelling on negative emotions, trying to suppress them, and dealing with them constructively and mindfully. Your child will probably find it easier to move on when they can talk about their feelings. 


 Key techniques to use when talking with your kids about their difficult emotions 

  1. Show empathy: Set up empathy as your default parenting mindset – get judgement out of the way and tap into your compassion for them. Be curious about your kids’ experiences 
  2. Allow your child to accept their feelings: tell them that “it is ok to feel that way” 
  3. Acknowledge their experiences even if they are different from your own. Our internal worlds are completely unique and individual 
  4. Ask your kids open hearted questions so that you can understand their situation and what they are feeling. Just accept whatever they are experiencing. 
    1. what are you feeling right now?  
    2. what is really bothering you?  
  5. Guide them into experiencing what is happening right now  (“What can you see? hear? RIGHT NOW?”) 
  6. Be honest. Avoid making unrealistic promises. Share truthful information. Fact and fiction are different. 
  7. Get them focus on what they want, not what they do not want, and come up with a strategy to achieve that together 
  8. It’s also important to remind yourself and your children that there are still many things to look forward to. Try to be curious and hopeful about what the future holds. 


 Other strategies to help your kids deal with difficult emotions

Open communication between you and your kids will help to relax, allowing you to work with your child on how to take positive action. 

Use these strategies: 

1. Teach them how to be aware of their thoughts and emotions 

Feeling out of control of our thoughts and feelings plays a big role in the stress that many children and adults feel today. Help your child to develop their own daily routines and shift their attention toward activities that can boost their self-esteem and motivation.  

2. Explore present circumstances and create choices 

Be creative about coming up ideas with replacements for the things they have lost or have missed 

3. Teach self-care tools 

Teach your child to soothe themselves in ways that are appropriate to their developmental stage. There are many self-care tools – breathing techniques and EFT / Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a simple tool that can be learnt and applied by the child and have a positive effect on their wellbeing. It is beneficial for parent to do the same! 

 4. Manage expectations. 

 Problem solving is an essential skill for building a healthy relationship with ourselves. Help your kids build self-control, self-awareness and self-knowledge. Encourage them to pursue their own goals rather than comparing themselves to others.  

5. Connect together 

Another advantage of challenging times is the potential they have for creating social bonds. Your child may feel closer to their classmates and friends due to going through the same events together.  Build these bonds in any way you can – arrange an online meeting or for them to attend a workshop together. 

 6. Love unconditionally 

Powerful, challenging emotions can be especially uncomfortable if your child feels that they have failed or are at fault. Create a safe and nurturing environment for them and express that you love them regardless of how many times they lose their backpack!

7. Trust them completely and fully 

Your child is more likely to integrate and learn how to work with emotional challenges as they have their inner power with them if you express confidence in them. Tell them you believe in them and praise them for their efforts and processes. 


Dealing with difficult, uncomfortable emotions can guide children to learn vital life skills and prepare them for adult life. With support from Naomi, you can be a loving role model while they develop their life management skills. 



NLP is an acronym for Neuro Linguistic Programming: 

“Neuro” is everything in our mind: out thoughts, feelings and beliefs about the world we live in and ourselves and people we love and with whom we interact. 

“Linguistic” relates to how we express that via our body language, the words we use and our tone.  

“Programming” is the result of these and the patterns we run. By noticing our behaviour and thinking patterns, we can make better choices that can improve our  communication. 

NLP is a popular coaching tool in the business world but it can absolutely apply to our kids, parenting and even ourselves. We can learn rapport, leadership skills, managing conflict and choices which are essential skills for life. 


EFT is an acronym for Emotional Freedom Technique: 

It works by tapping a series of acupressure points on the face and upper body with two fingers whilst focusing on a voicing our issues. This helps to “short-circuit” the fight or flight (stress) response and allows you to think more clearly about and release the problem and find resolution.


Naomi Sato has limited spaces available to work one to one with children and young people. If you need extra support reach out and book a FREE consultation appointment and see how NLP / EFT and her coaching and self-care tools work!  If you would like to find more about Naomi’s treatments and explore the NLP + EFT techniques see her full schedule at triyoga here.

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