Abnormal and Healthy Emotions
The world is full of emotions. Being human is about experiencing a range of emotions, including positive and negative ones. But what about normal and abnormal emotions? Are there such things?
In the parenting field, it is important to be aware of such distinctions. This is because children must learn to recognize and express their emotions appropriately, without feeling burdensome or undesired. As such, recognizing when a child’s reaction is normal or abnormal is critical in supporting the child’s emotional health and development.
What Is Abnormal Emotion?
Abnormal emotion is a reaction to a stimulus or situation that is considered “not normal” or deviating from the average level of emotional reaction. It is characterized by an excessive display of emotion, extreme outpouring of emotion, or reaction that is not typically expected from the individual, such as acting out, displaying aggression, and overreacting.
Abnormal emotions may also be seen as the result of a disorder or disorder-like symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and bipolar disorder. These reactions can be triggered by a variety of factors, such as life stressors, traumatic experiences, and people’s interactions.
How to Spot Abnormal Emotions in Child?
Although it is normal for children to show varying levels of emotions, there are several signs that may suggest that a child is experiencing abnormal emotion. These signs can include:
• Unusual and persistent fears or worries
• Abrupt changes in behavior such as aggression
• Frequent crying and tantrums
• Refusal to socialize with others
• Outbursts of anger or aggression
• Difficulty maintaining relationships
• Low self-esteem and mood swings
• Having difficulty in concentrating or remembering things
• Withdrawal from activities that the child used to enjoy
Once these signs are observed in your child, it is important to take them seriously and seek the help of a knowledgeable and experienced therapist who can determine the extent of the problem.
How to Support Healthy Emotions in Child?
Once abnormal emotion is identified, it is important to understand how to manage and support healthy emotion in children. Here are several things that parents can do to help their child manage their emotions:
• Encourage Expression: Teach children when, where, and how to express their emotions. Help them identify where their emotions come from, and give them strategies to control their emotions.
• Value Mistakes: Validate your child’s feelings while allowing them to make mistakes. Instead of criticizing them, help them to understand why their reaction was wrong and gently remind them not to react in such a way in the future.
• Create a Safe Zone: When your child is crying or getting angry, tell them that it is ok and look for ways to help them feel safe and comfortable. Allow them to express their feelings and thoughts, and try to understand their viewpoint.
• Model Healthy Emotions: Children learn from their parents. As such, it is important for parents to show a healthy attitude towards emotions and demonstrate how to express and manage them correctly.
• Allow for Emotional Growth: Allow your child to become emotionally independent by allowing them to make their own decisions and helping them to develop their strengths and emotional resilience.
Recognizing and managing abnormal and healthy emotions are important components of parenting. Becoming aware of the signs of emotional problems, and supporting your child with the development of healthy emotional skills are key to helping your child grow in the right way. In order to do so, showing kindness, understanding, and patience is necessary to foster an emotional environment in which your child can safely explore their emotions and develop the skills to manage them appropriately.