About Holly Brochmann

Holly Brochmann is an advocate for managing common mental health issues through therapy and exercise. She has a degree in journalism and enjoys creative writing both as a hobby and as a primary part of her career in public relations. Holly lives in McKinney, Texas.

Helping Young Children Cope With Sadness

Of all the many human emotions, sadness can be one of the most difficult to manage. It occurs at many levels and in many different ways: it can be as simple as disappointment or as complex as grief and depression. Commonly identified as one of the primary or core emotions, sadness is also one of the first to develop and can be experienced very early in life. Magination Press book, A Feel Better Book For Little Tears by Holly Brochmann and Leah Bowen, is a beginner’s book that addresses the overall concept of sadness. It also provides parents and caregivers tools not only to help children process and cope with this difficult emotion, but to convey that it is normal--everyone feels sad sometimes.  Here are some ways you can help your child understand and cope with sadness: Responding to Sadness Sadness can be felt, and expressed, in a variety of physical ways. Tears are the most obvious indications of sadness, but children may manifest sadness in other ways like anger, isolation, clinginess, or stomach ache. A child may be unable to communicate or even recognize some of these physical manifestations.  As a parent, first take note of changes in behavior that may demonstrate the less obvious reactions. Then you can help them connect those reactions to the sadness with verbal cues.  For example, if your child is being extra clingy, you can simply acknowledge their feelings by saying, “I know it makes you sad when Mommy can’t be with  you all the time.” Children can be sad for so many reasons, some of which may be significant to others, while others may seem miniscule or even ridiculous. It’s important to remember that while the child’s feelings may appear insignificant to you as an adult, they are quite the opposite from the child’s perspective. Bear in mind age-appropriate sadness and respond with both empathy and sympathy rather than trivializing your child’s feelings. “I’m so sorry you can’t wear your monster shirt today. I know it’s your favorite and you are sad when it isn’t clean. I understand how you feel, because I feel sad when that happens to me, too.”  Normalizing Sadness One of the most important messages you can convey to your child during times of sadness is that you are there for them. Sadness can be a lonely emotion, especially if experiencing something very personal and individual. It helps to have support from someone who knows what you are going through.  If your child loses their favorite stuffed animal, for example, listen to them, however often they want to talk about it. Storytelling in this way may be their way to process their feelings. You may also normalize their feelings by sharing a story about how you experienced a similar loss when you were their age. Be honest about how sad you were and how you cried. Talk about what helped you with your sad feelings. In the meantime, let your child know you will be there for

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Helping Young Children Cope With Sadness 2019-08-02T10:42:19-04:00