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Emotional Regulation Skills: Every child was born with several emotions. A child’s emotions include interest, happiness, sadness, fear, surprise, anger pleasure, contempt, disgust, and self-worth. He starts to express his emotions from his early childhood by crying, smiling, and seeing.

Emotional Regulation

Emotional Regulation

Parents are the first effective characters who play an effective role in the emotional regulation of a child. They teach the children how they express their emotions in different situations.

Let the child show his love and anger. Respect the child’s emotions when he starts to express his emotions.

The child starts to cry when he feels hungry and smiles when he feels happiness. Preschool emotional expressions are quite complex. A child tries to send an effective message by smiling and crying when he requires basic needs.

What are Emotions?

The term emotion is complex and difficult to define.  Here are many definitions of emotions are found in the literature but some important definitions are discussed below:

Peggy A. Thoits says “Emotions involve: (a) appraisals of a situational stimulus or context, (b) changes in physiological or bodily sensations, (c) the free or inhibited display of expressive gestures, and (d) a cultural label applied to specific constellations of one or more of the first three Components”.[1]

Pamela M. Cole writes “Emotions are a kind of radar and rapid response system, constructing and carrying meaning across the flow of experience. Emotions are the tools by which we appraise experience and prepare to act in situations”.[2]

After discussing the definition of emotion I would like to discuss emotion regulation.  In fact, positive emotional regulation enhances learning performance, well-being, and enriches the personal relationship in childhood.

What is Emotional Regulation?

Emotion regulation is defined is an “individual’s ability to respond to environmental stimuli with a range of emotions in a controlled manner”(Panfile and Laible 2012).  It is also described that “emotion regulation is the ability to gauge the appropriate level and range of emotional response to a given situation”. [1][3]

The emotion regulation is an ability that helps the children to express their emotions in the appropriate ways. Effective emotion coaching is an important job for parents and teachers to improve emotional regulation skills.

What is Emotion Coaching?

Emotion Coaching provides directions that how children manage their own emotions in difficult situations. Emotion Coaching is defined that “Emotion Coaching is about helping children and young people to understand the different emotions they experience, why they occur, and how to handle them” (Gottman, 1997).[2][4]

Top 14  Activities to   Improve Emotional  Regulation Skills in Children

Parents should understand the way to emotional expression in the preschool period. Because, they are the first respondent of their children during the time of anxiety, pain, and distress and they should know how can they regulate their children’s emotions.   There are top 7 tips that help the parents to develop the emotional skills in children.

1.Develop the Self- Respect in Children

Self- respect provides greater emotional resilience and relates to psychological well-being in childhood.  Provide the environment in which the child must feel that he is most respectable and honorable at home. Give value to your child and appreciate the child’s work.

However, child’s poor self-respect at home may lead to developing negative emotions in children such as shame, guilt, regret, and blame.

2. Build the Self- Concept in Children

Self-concept is called how children view themselves.  Try to build a strong belief in children that they can complete their task. A child should believe in his abilities that he can achieve the goal.  Parents and teachers must create activities to build up self-concept in children.

3. Provide the Positive Feedback

Parents and teachers should give positive feedback to their children.  The positive feedback provides the emotional power to complete the educational task.   Negative feedback may lead to developing negative emotions in childhood. So always encourage your child when he starts to do something better.

 4. Play With Toys

Children love to play with toys and feel pleasure during play. Play is an important source to develop positive emotions in children. Parents must buy the toys for their children and those toys should be simple, hygienic, and safe for children. Play with toys also helps to improve motor skills, concentration, and social skills.

5. Outdoor Trips and Visits

Outdoor activities and trips provide a lot of happiness and children start to express their emotions during outdoor tips. Take some time to visit the garden, zoo, and Public Park with your children. These trips help the child to share the beautiful feelings with parents and friends.

6. Respect the Child Eating Habits and Interests

Parents should respect the child’s eating habits and interests. Mother can ask the child, what you like to eat at dinner. The child starts to express his feelings by telling his favorite food such as chicken, beef, and vegetable.

7. Loving Behavior with your Child

It is well documented that family love has had a great positive impact on child emotional development. Parents should show their love for children verbally and substantively.  Provide the environment at home in which the child should consider himself that he is the most beloved one at home.

8. Become the Role Model for Your Children

Parents and teachers are the most effective coaches who regulate children‘s emotions in different situations. Their behavior and actions have had great effects on the shaping of children’s behaviors. It is important to understand that children observe the parents/ teacher’s behaviors/actions and try to follow them in childhood

9. Help the Children to Become  Aware of About their Emotions

Create a situation in which a child becomes more aware and understand his own emotions. Parents give the name of specific emotion than guide the child how he should respond positively in the preschool period. They support the children in the verbal expression of emotion in a positive way.

10. Provide the Gaudiness to Manage the Emotions

Gaudiness plays a significant role in the regulation of emotions in early childhood.  Guide the children particularly during the difficult and conflict situation. Provide the opportunities and guidance which help the children to manage their emotions in an appropriate way.

11. Accept the Appropriate Emotional Behavior

Let the child express prosocial and positive behavior. Discourage the child when he expresses the antisocial and negative emotions which can hurt others. Parents/teachers should try to control antisocial emotions in a constructive way. They don’t get aggressive during the controlling antisocial behavior.

12. Provide Psychological Support and Treatment

Sometimes emotional problems related to psychological problems such as PDD, ASD ODD. It is also well documented the sexual abuse also lead to many emotional disorders in children. Parents should counseling with psychologists or psychiatrists when they feel difficulties in the emotional regulation process.

13. Share the Valuable Stories (Children’s stories)

Children always show interest in moral stories. Provide valuable stories that help the children to learn how they handle difficult situations. Provide opportunities to watch videos and programs that can help the children to regulate their emotions.

  14. Play Activities  Help to Regulate the Emotion

The play is an effective way to regulate the child’s emotions.  The child automatically starts to learn how he controls the emotions during play and other activities. Support the child in difficult situations during play and ask the child to use his imagination to solve the problems.

In conclusion: Positive emotional skills development plays an important role in the success of children. The parents and school provide opportunities to improve emotional regulation skills in a positive way.

It is important to understand that every nations, religion, country, and society have own social and cultural values. The child’s emotional expression is embedded with those cultural and social values in which he lives.


[1] Peggy A. Thoits, The Sociology of Emotions, Department of Sociology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, Annul. Rev. Social. 1989. 15:317-42.

[2] Pamela M. Cole, Sarah E. Martin, and Tracy A. Dennis, Emotion Regulation as a Scientific Construct: Methodological Challenges and Directions for Child Development Research, Child Development, March/April 2004, Volume 75.

[3] Hannah Mills and Elizabeth McCarroll, Emotion regulation in early childhood, Texas Child Care Quarterly/summer 2012 / Volume 36, NO. 1 / ChildCarequarTerly.Com.

[4] Abigail Rolston, BA & Elizabeth Lloyd- Richardson, Ph.D.,  What is emotion Regulation.


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