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  • Writer's pictureTamsin Hartley

Helping children manage their emotions: part 1

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

Anyone who has spent time around young children will know that it can feel like a roller-coaster of emotions at times. Before you know it, laughter and co-operation have descended into tears and tantrums! However, when a child has a way of understanding their emotions it can help them (and the adults around them!) deal more calmly with the ups and downs of their day.

Being asked Clean questions can help a child do just this - understand their emotions better.

For example, after playing happily with a friend recently, four year old Ella's behaviour deteriorated into snatching and screaming. Once she had diffused the situation, her mother wanted to get to the bottom of what had made her behave in this way. All that Ella could say was 'I was angry'. So her mother decided to ask her some Clean questions about this feeling:

- What kind of angry?

- Is there anything else about feeling angry?

- Whereabouts is feeling angry?

Before long Ella talked about the monster in her tummy that turns green when she's feeling angry, and stays pink when she's happy. She drew this gorgeous picture of her angry monster so her mother could see what it looks like. Now Ella's mother has a way of helping her notice when the monster is turning green so they can figure out what is needed to keep the monster happy: something to eat or drink perhaps; a walk outside in the fresh air; or just a chance to just sit and read quietly.

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