Written by: Rhiannon Miller, LMSW – Rainbows’ Mental Health Specialist & Lori Haas – Rainbows’ Mental Health Assistant
Experiencing frustration is a part of growing up. You can teach your child how to handle frustration so they can be in charge of their feelings and learn new skills more easily. There are three steps to helping your child master frustration.
Step 1: Name it
Help your child name the source of the frustration. Knowing why they are frustrated helps them as they learn to cope with the feeling.
Step 2: Tame It
To help a child move out of automatic thinking and into the present moment teach them to use relaxation skills. These skills can be deep breathing, counting to 10, or simply listening to the sounds around them.
Step 3: Reframe It
Teach your child to see the situation in a different way. At first teach children to say something like, “This kite won’t fly but the playground was fun.” Eventually they may be able to say something simple like, “Everything is okay.”
You cannot keep your child from experiencing frustration, but you can provide your child with the tools to manage his emotions and make good choices.
Ideas adapted from: William Mulchay’s book “Zak Gets Frustrated”.