Jane was looking forward to the barbecue tonight. She helped to pack the chicken wings and was about to get the coal ready. When the dark clouds loomed, her father decided on a change of plans and cook indoor instead. Jane went hysterical. She yelled, she stomped, she howled and went absolutely ballistic. Her parents were frightened by her outburst and tried to comfort her by telling her it was only a change of plans. Jane knew that. She just couldn’t control herself.
Some children are highly sensitive. They feel as if they are attacked personally when events don’t seem to go their way or judge a little too quickly by supposed acts of betrayal that other children shrug off. When these emotions appear, it overwhelms the child so much so that they feel so miserable that at times, they can, literally, wish that they are dead.
When these children lack the skills to cope, they will wind up feeling miserable most of the time. They blow at the minor things and this hurts them socially and personally. This also makes them easy targets of bullies. They have to learn to manage discomfort and disappointment in constructive ways to help them cope with such emotions.
Some researchers believe that emotional ‘over excitability’ is somehow, an innate part of being high ability. Eileen Kennedy-Moore and Mark S. Lowenthal, authors of Smart Parenting for Smart Kids: Nurturing Your Child’s True Potential , believe otherwise. They believe that these children just needed coping strategies to manage their feelings.
There are parents who ask their children to vent by pounding, stamping or yelling. The authors believe that these only serve to reinforce negative feelings instead. Furthermore, this behaviour is generally not accepted in society and this may lead to further embarrassment.
For the next few posts, we will be looking at ‘Emotional Coaching’. This method stems from encouraging the child to figure put how to deal with their own emotions. Psychologist John Gottman conducted a research and found that children who were coached emotionally by their parents were better at self-sooting and had better academic grades, peer relationships and physical health.