A Focus Series

Helping kids manage their emotions

Tips for building your child’s emotional intelligence
Inside this Series

All kids need to be taught how to talk about their emotions and how to manage their emotions appropriately. These are vital skills, because appropriate regulation of our emotions – whether we’re feeling anger, anxiety, disappointment, sadness or something else – is essential for personal self-esteem and for building fulfilling and lasting relationships with others.

Young children are often afraid of the overwhelming feelings they experience, so it’s never too early to start teaching your child about emotions. And that coaching in emotional intelligence should continue throughout childhood and into the teen years. Just as kids need to practice math or spelling skills, they also need to practice how to handle strong emotions.

Teaching children about their emotions

Free video series: Teaching Children to Manage Their Emotions

Children need to learn how to manage powerful emotions like anger, frustration and disappointment, and this video series will help you teach your children this important life skill. You’ll hear from Cherilyn Orr – an education consultant and adjunct professor at Vanguard College in Edmonton, Alberta – as she introduces the emotion coaching strategy explained in her book Signals: How Brain Science and the Bible Help Parents Raise Resilient ChildrenGet started

The quality of the emotional connection between you and your child will have a significant, life-long impact on your child's emotional health. In this free, six-episode video series, Focus on the Family Canada counsellor Luke Campbell will help you understand how to keep creating the positive interactions that are essential to your young child’s sense of security and well-being. Get started

Recommended resources

Are My Kids on Track? The 12 Emotional, Social and Spiritual Milestones Your Child Needs to Reach by Sissy Goff, David Thomas and Melissa Trevathan

What Am I Feeling? by Josh and Christi Straub for ages 4+

Managing Your Emojis: 100 Devotions for Navigating Your Feelings by Michelle Nietert and Lynn Cowell for ages 8-10.

All the Feels for Teens for girls ages 13+

Signals: How Brain Science and the Bible Help Parents Raise Resilient Children by Cherilyn Orr

Responding well to fear, hurt and disappointment

Recommended resources

What Do I Do With Worry? for ages 4+ (Good for addressing general worries; the plot also deals specifically with moving to a new neighbourhood)

Otter B Brave for ages 4+

All the Feels for Teens for girls ages 13+

Raising Worry-Free Girls by Sissy Goff

Braver, Stronger, Smarter: A Girl's Guide to Overcoming Worry and Anxiety by Sissy Goff for ages 6+

Brave: A Teen Girl's Guide to Beating Worry and Anxiety by Sissy Goff

Raising Emotionally Strong Boys by David Thomas

Strong and Smart: A Boy's Guide to Building Healthy Emotions by David Thomas

Responding to a child's anger

Recommended resources

You Can't Make Me by Cynthia Tobias

Anger: Taming a Powerful Emotion by Gary Chapman

A Teen's Guide to the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Modelling good self-management for your kids