How to Help Kids Deal with Their Emotions

Does Temperament Affect How a Child Reacts?

How children respond emotionally to a situation depends largely on their temperament, an inborn way in which they experience the world. "Some kids are more easily frustrated than others, and some children are less outgoing or more easily intimidated," says Braungart-Rieker. Although temperament is inborn, it is adaptable. So if you have a child who is easily frustrated, that frustration need not always turn into anger. You can stop this cycle by helping him learn to identify that feeling of frustration and find ways to diffuse it. And realize, too, that children have different emotional needs. One child may want constant cuddling, while another prefers crawling around the room. This doesn't mean that the more active child doesn't need your love as much as the cuddly one. It just means he's busy. For a child like that, a tickle attack or a wrestling match is just the kind of "I love you" he needs.

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