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5 Ways to Help Kids Manage Strong Emotions Every Day

Managing strong emotions can be extremely difficult for adults.  Just imagine how difficult it is for a child.  And then when you have a child with special needs...  The task seems like an impossible feat.

The behaviors that result can be terrifying and debilitating for both parents and child.  If a child with special needs is to be successful in life he must learn how to manage strong emotions on a daily basis.

My husband and I are constantly working with our children to help them do just that.  In the process we have developed 5 ways to help kids manage strong emotions every day.  When our four children with special needs choose to use these tips, they are successful at managing their emotions on a daily basis.  As a result everyone is healthy and functioning at their best.
5 ways to help kids manage strong emotions every day
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5 Ways to Help Kids Manage Strong Emotions Every Day

1. Express emotions in the moment

There are many times during the day when a child may become mad, sad, lonely, scared or happy.  In these moments it's important for the child to be able to express his emotions verbally using the phrase, "I feel ____ when ____."  There may not be anything that can be done at the time to make things better, but the expression of the feelings can make a world of difference, especially when an adult acknowledges them.

Sometimes in our home, I may need to remind the child to talk about feelings, but usually it only takes a single prompt if anything at all.

2. Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day

Exercise is a proven way to help adults work through strong emotions.  It also works for children.  If a child is feeling emotions that are too strong to express calmly, exercise can help.  While exercising the child is encouraging:

  •  Good blood circulation
  • Deep breathing
  • Release of endorphins
All of these things can help him function better.  Once the child has finished exercising the emotions will not be as strong, making them easier to talk about.

Our favorite children's workout videos for days when it's not possible to go outside include:

3. Drink 8 cups of water a day

At times we forget how important drinking water can be for our bodies.  The benefits are endless.  When it comes to managing strong emotions, drinking water is extremely important.  Just the act of drinking water can calm a person down. Our bodies work so much better when we're well hydrated.  If a child is drinking 8 cups of water a day, his ability to function and manage strong emotions will improve.

Each of our children have water bottles that they use throughout the day at home to better keep track of their water intake.

4. Express and work through feelings at a designated time every day

When a child expresses his feelings and works through them on a daily basis there is much less of a chance that emotions become too strong to manage.  Set aside a specific time of day to discuss feelings and work through them with your child.  Eventually this will become a routine that the child can look forward to, especially if he's expressed emotions earlier in the day that you haven't been able to address.

The best time of day for us to help our children work through emotions is during dinner prep.  We will check in with each of them.  If any of them need to work through anything, it's the perfect time to do so.

5.  Express happy emotions about the day at bedtime 

It's always best to end the day on a positive note.  Encourage your child to express happy moments from the day right before bed.  Ending the day discussing the highlights can be very soothing and lead to sweet dreams.  If the child sleeps well, emotions will be easier to handle the next day.

This is my favorite part of the day.  I love hearing about happy moments, especially when it's been particularly difficult for me.

The five ways to help kids manage strong emotions every day have made such a difference in our home with all of our kiddos, especially those with emotional disabilities.  It takes a lot of hard work and consistent effort to push through each day but the rewards are so great for everyone.  I challenge you to try it out and see how it goes.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the following: 

  One Sure Way to Help Your Child Work through Emotions Five Lessons to teach Kids About Balancing Emotions Fun Ways to teach Children About Emotions Reactive Attachment Disorder Support and Resources Autism Support and Resources Anger Management for Kids: the Caregiver's Responsibility

5 ways to help kids manage strong emotions every day.


  1. This is really beautiful! I think this is applicable to anyone too <3 Thank you for sharing!

  2. Especially appreciate the encouragement to express things in the moment. What a healthy mindset and so intentional!

  3. I love your ideas. One of my favorite books on teaching your kids to handle anger is How to Really Love Your Teen by Ross Campbell. He has a whole chapter on the topic that is very practical and easy to apply for kids of any age. Visiting from #turnituptuesday :)