Negative feelings cause negative behavior.

Tip 35 – Teach your child to identify negative feelings… and then handle them!

Be a negative feelings detective… and then help your child bust his or hers as soon as possible. First, look for clues–Negative behavior will usually be your first tip-off. Next make note of obvious difficulties. Then work through the problem. While mishaps occur all the time, it is important to be aware of their causes. Hash out the reasons with your child and then help him or her better understand what happened. The sooner you help your child, the faster he or she will be at peace. After you go through this process, your child will be freer from distracting feelings and better able to enjoy the full benefits of positive energy.

Parenting Insight…

Negative feelings are a natural part of life; we all have them. Yet little by little we learn how to handle them. With the benefit of your wisdom, you can help your child jumpstart learning this valuable life-living tool!




  1. NY Phoenix

    The biggest problem toddlers have is that they don’t have the words for their emotions. I would ask my minions “Are you mad?” “Are you sad?” “Are you scared?” etc etc and then we’d talk about what is making them feel that way. It also helps for the parent to say what they’re feeling and why (when appropriate, sometimes the “I’m just mad and it has nothing to do with you, it’s another adult”) so that they learn it’s ok to have these feelings and emotions.

    It does come back around and ends up being a flipping riot though. My favorite was my son (now almost 14!) when he was about 2 and would get mad when I told him no to something… he’d put his feet shoulder width apart, cross his arms and go “FINE! I mad at you! I going to bed!” which I would always make sure to respond with “That’s alright, I still love you anyway!” as he would storm up the stairs to his bedroom. Sometimes he’d be overtired and end up taking a nap, other times he’d be back downstairs 10-15 minutes later and say “I sorry.” Their bedrooms have always been the “safe zone” where they could vent their feelings, I just refused to allow them an audience when they’d be throwing a temper tantrum.

    • In our world of logical thinking, it is easy to forget that one of our most sacred human characteristics is our feelings. Hurt ones are very painful, difficult to handle, and as you point out so darn hard to express. How special it is that you give your children the freedom to get in touch with theirs in the privacy of their own rooms. One of the major tenets of guidance discipline is to separate the behavior from the child. While you may not like what your child did, you always love him or her. How special that your example illustrated that exact principle. Here are a couple of more parenting pillars that you explained:
      1. Be a person and not a god.
      2. Be positive, warm, and supportive.
      Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *