How to Manage Big Feelings

We can help children notice, name, and manage their big feelings.

Just like grown-ups, children can have feelings for so many reasons. Times of uncertainty, stress, or change can cause feelings to feel even bigger. And every child expresses their feelings differently. Sometimes children need help from a grown up to learn how to notice, name, and manage their big feelings. Explore the resources and ideas in this bundle to help your child. 

In this video, we see that Elmo feels upset. His mom helps him notice feelings in his body. Then she helps him name and manage his big feeling. Watch the video together with children. 

  • Before watching: Talk about feelings. How many emotions can you name? Can you act them out? 
  • While you watch: Notice what Elmo’s mom does to help Elmo notice feelings in his body, and how they playfully express them together. 
  • After watching: Ask children what happened in the video. Then practice the mindfulness strategy together: Close your eyes and notice any sensations in your own body. (Tip: use the printable below to help guide children.) 

Grown-ups, read the article How to Recognize and Respond to Big Feelings for more ways you can recognize and respond to your child’s big feelings.