You wouldn’t believe the number of messages I have been getting regarding children’s emotions lately.
Here are some examples:
“If my daughter doesn’t get her way, she just throws a fit and there’s no way getting her back from that.”
“My son threw a shoe at his brother the other day.”
“My daughter gets home from school and just wants to be alone.”
“My son doesn’t know how to express his emotions.”
“My son is very angry, he cries and fights with me all the time.”
[Note: The wording has been changed to protect the concerned parent]
Parents are feeling completely helpless and are asking for strategies to help their child. It is important to note that poor emotional regulation can present as anger, lethargy, decreased attention/concentration, lack of sleep, isolation, tantrums, and difficulty transitioning from one task to another.
So what can you do? Start with this:
-work on expressing...
While working in an outpatient rehab center, many of the parents expressed one concern. It was something along of the lines of, “My child does great with you here, but I can’t get him to do the same at home.” As an occupational therapist (OT), I understand very well the difference the environment makes in someone’s functional ability.
Now, let’s compare the home environment and the clinic environment.