Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Express Yourself in Healthy Ways to Set Example for Children ; YOUTH FIRST

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Express Yourself in Healthy Ways to Set Example for Children ; YOUTH FIRST

Article excerpt

Parents spend so much time trying to teach children appropriate ways to express their feelings that it's easy to forget that the same rules apply to adults. There are a multitude of universal coping skills that can help. The key is to find what works best for you and stick with it even in negative or difficult situations. Children often model the behavior they see. Through your example of expressing positive emotions, children will also learn how to express themselves in healthy ways.

When faced with negative emotions like anger, stress or sadness, take the time to get composed before you react. If you confront the situation too quickly, you may act impulsively and later regret what was said or done.

Giving yourself a "timeout" allows you to collect your thoughts and calm down. Walking away from the situation is not a sign of weakness; rather, it is a sign of self-control and empowerment. A good way to calm down is to take several deep breaths.

The words we use impact - for better or for worse - how we handle our feelings and how others respond. When sharing feelings with others, it's best to use "I statements." Begin the discussion by stating the person's name, sharing how you feel, and explaining why you feel that way.

For example, "Sue, I feel sad when you promise to call me, and then I don't hear from you. I always look forward to your phone calls and miss talking to you."

Remember, the tone of your voice will influence the course of the conversation. At times, our feelings are still too raw to have an appropriate adult conversation about them. …

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