As a parent, you can help your son manage his emotions and control his feelings in order to deal with daily challenges, conflicts, social situations and to nurture positive mental health and wellbeing.
Daniel Goleman defines ‘emotional intelligence’ as the ability to recognise, understand and manage our own emotions, as well as those of others. Self-awareness and an ability to regulate how you act on your emotions are crucial components of emotional intelligence. You want your son to develop resilience and a strong sense of self so he can successfully recognise and manage his own emotions.
There are a number of ways to help your son manage his emotions:
To help your son manage his emotions, engage him in conversations and listen to what he is saying – this will help him feel safe and encourage him to express himself openly. Research suggests that labelling feelings in situations will help your son recognise different emotions and connect with them to teach him empathy. When he reacts emotionally in a situation, acknowledge his feelings and talk to him about the emotions and needs of others.
Anger is a common emotion expressed by boys. As a parent, you should aim to be a supportive and responsive source when your son experiences stressful situations. Postive touch such as a hug can convey positive emotions and empathy. Soothe and calm your son down so he feels more relaxed and secure, learning to eventually do this for himself. Check for underlying feelings of sadness and anxiety by prompting responses with direct questions.
Set a good example
Influence your son’s behaviour by setting a good example. Laura Markham advises that boys can learn self-control and appropriate emotions by watching others and their experiences. Be open but controlled with your feelings to signal that all emotions are valid. Time and practise will allow him to accept his emotions and consider those of others.
At Christ Church Grammar School, we support boys through their emotional development to build social and emotional competency for greater wellbeing and better school performance. If you are interested in keeping up-to-date with the latest insights on raising boys, subscribe to our monthly enewsletter.