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How To Process Emotions: A Guide for Kids

How To Process Emotions: A Guide for Kids

There’s no doubt that processing our emotions can be a tricky task. Even as adults, there are sometimes that we might struggle to articulate how we’re feeling. Teaching our kids to process and communicate their feelings is a huge part of being a parent. 

This guide will explain how you can help your kids sort through their feelings, even at their most overwhelming.

Use a Natural Aid To Help Calm Down

The older we get, the more we develop refined coping skills that help us deal with negative feelings. This ability is honed continuously throughout a lifetime and comes along with emotional intelligence and emotional experience. However, kids are just starting on their journey toward proper emotional processing.

As such, our children often need some help from loved ones to guide them through intense emotions. This help can come in the form of mentorship, but it can also come in the form of offering a natural aid to assist. Our ZenPatch Mood Calming Stickers come complete with a special blend of essential oils that are natural and effective. 

The combination of Mandarin, Sweet Orange, Atlas Cedarwood, and Lavender work together beautifully to create a calm and tranquil energy that will follow your kids everywhere. But this sticker doesn’t only work for kids; adults can get in on the calm too! (This is especially helpful considering that dealing with a hyper child is hardly the most calming activity.)

Encourage Your Kids To Pause for a Moment Before Reacting

Most overreactions stem from not giving yourself enough time to process what you are feeling. Adults can also have trouble sometimes taking a deep breath and regrouping, so just imagine how tough it is for kids. This emotional response is often one of profound anger or sadness rather than a more healthy display of one’s feelings.

When your kids are feeling something negative or unpleasant, encourage them to take a moment to sort out the potential best course of action. Depending on the child’s age, they might not be quite ready for this level of logical thinking.

Just taking a second to not react in haste is a helpful exercise that will benefit someone’s emotional state. It is best to talk to your kids about this when they’re calm because they are not likely to be very receptive when experiencing strong emotions.

Explain to your kid that painful emotions happen, but we can feel better by taking a deep breath before reacting.

Teach Them To Talk It Through

It is important to process emotional pain by not running away from it, but we have to make sure that it doesn’t cross the line into ruminating on it. Fixating on negativity is neither helpful nor productive, and we can avoid it by talking it through with others.

Other people can offer a new perspective on an issue that you might have once considered to only have one point of view. Kids who are just starting to get an idea of how the world works probably haven’t considered these other perspectives. It’s not their fault — there’s a biological reason for this!

Kids tend to develop a stronger sense of empathy around age six or seven. Of course, this age will vary from child to child, and we should remember empathy is not all or nothing. Empathy is a skill that we continue to hone throughout our lives, as is emotional intelligence. 

By encouraging our kids to talk their emotions through with us, we gain an insight into their psyche. Kids can sometimes seem like enigmas, so this is valuable in and of itself. This is also immensely helpful in gauging their mental health and well-being.

Let Them Feel Their Emotions Fully

Emotions should never be pent up or repressed, as this will simply cause much more issues in the long run and significantly higher therapy bills. Instead, we should teach our kids not to run away from their emotions. Tell them not to be scared of feelings and put those feelings in context whenever possible. 

You can’t have a rainbow without the rain — if we do not fully feel our negative emotions, then we won’t fully feel our positive emotions either. Life is a series of highs and lows, and telling your kids to truly experience their emotions helps them prepare to deal with them.

Help Your Kids Understand Why They Feel How They Do

When your kids understand why they feel the way they do, they will understand themselves much better than they did. Not only that, but understanding and being able to reason with yourself is a huge step toward learning emotional regulation.

Ask your child to identify what they are feeling. The next step is to help them identify the root cause of that feeling. If their emotional reactions are too strong in the moment, give them some time to cool off before delving into this conversation.

Older kids might be able to talk about their feelings in the moment, which is a crucial coping skill that they will use throughout their lives.

Find Productive Ways To Sort Out Difficult Emotions

Once your child understands why they’re feeling this way, you can help them sort out the emotions even more. There are a few different ways to go about this; the best method will depend on the child and the situation.

Understand Through Art

There is a reason that so many people of all ages turn to art to understand their emotions. Simply, it just works. Channeling pain or sadness into something creative is productive, and participating in the arts could help to build self-esteem.

Regardless of if your child prefers drawing or painting, writing, music, or any other kind of creative expression, this should be encouraged. Pursuing the arts will help your child feel more fulfilled at the moment that they are experiencing unpleasant emotions, but this could also become a lifelong passion. 

Whether this activity remains a hobby or it turns into a career, this is a skill your child is sure to be thankful for later in life.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is another way to be more intune with your feelings and thought processes. Practicing mindfulness makes you feel more present in the current moment, without any kind of judgment. 


If your child has some trouble sitting down and focusing, The Natural Patch Co. has FocusPatch Focus Enhancing Stickers to save the day. The blend of Lemon, Atlas Cedarwood, Bergamot, and Peppermint essential oils are as focussing as they are centering. So whether your kid has to study for the big spelling test or if they are trying to put their all into meditation, these patches can help.

Offer a Strong Example

Leading by example can feel difficult at times, especially when we’ve had an especially trying day or are feeling more overwhelmed than usual. As parents, “more overwhelmed than usual” is saying a whole lot.

We can still set a strong example for our kids in these moments. Actually, these moments might be an even more poignant learning experience than usual.

If your child sees you experiencing some amount of distress and then partaking in a healthy method of sorting through your feelings, they are likely to take that to heart. On the other hand, if a child sees their parent reacting hastily, they will probably mimic the behavior.

In moments of anger, sadness, or frustration, you can explain to your child why you are feeling that way. This will give them an excellent example of talking through their emotions, and they will also be more adept at seeing someone else’s point of view as time goes on.

Set Your Kids Up for Success

Think about it: None of us are at our best when we are sleepy or hungry. This change is even more noticeable in kids, where if they don’t get enough sleep, it becomes everyone’s problem. We love our kids, and we love to see them thrive. That is why we know not to interfere with their much-needed sleep.

However, there are times that sleep seems harder to come by than it usually is, both for kids and adults. During these periods, we might find our daily productivity and mental acuity slipping. In order to avoid this, it is best that we look into some natural means to help in the process of falling asleep

Sticking to a steady routine, turning off screens and social media before bedtime, and being tired out during the day are all important parts of getting restorative sleep, regardless of age. The Natural Patch Co. has our SleepyPatch Sleep Promoting Stickers to give kids and adults a healthy way to fall asleep and stay asleep. 

Processing Emotions Is an Emotional Process

It isn’t always easy to process emotions, but we have the tools to help our kids understand what they’re feeling. With enough patience and helpful techniques in our back pocket, our kids will be gaining emotional intelligence before you know it.

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Sources:

How Children Develop Empathy | Psychology Today

Effects of Age and Gender in Emotion Regulation of Children and Adolescents | Frontiers

Taking Part in the Arts Could Help Build Children’s Self-Esteem, New Study Finds | Centre for Longitudinal Studies

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