My child is feeling sad or low
- Encourage your child to talk about their feelings
Things you can try
Look out for a change in behaviour
A change in behaviour may be a sign that your child is feeling low. They may eat too much or not enough, have problems sleeping or stop doing things they normally enjoy, like playing with their friends.
Once I realised that my son was actually feeling sad and not angry, I was able to get alongside him and help him talk about it.
Let your child know that you’ve noticed a change in their behaviour or mood
Feeling sad may be a signal that your child needs a bit of extra support. Starting a chat about what’s making them feel sad or low is the first step.
Try saying: “I noticed you have been very quiet/tired/easily frustrated recently. Seems like you might be feeling a bit sad about something?”
Ask them if they notice when they feel more or less sad. For example, at school or when they’re with friends or family.
Name your child’s feeling of sadness
Children may feel sad but not know why. Try to name your child’s feeling of sadness to show them you understand.
You can help your child to name their feelings using words such as, sad, blue, down, tired, or fed-up, etc.
If your child struggles to explain their feelings with words, encourage them to draw or do something creative to describe it.
When we notice sadness and offer understanding, the feeling often begins to lessen.
Take time to regulate your own emotions
You can show your child that it is okay to feel sad. And to talk about it. When we stay calm, it shows our children that all feelings can be managed.
By regulating your emotions, you’ll reassure your child that feelings come and go. They’ll see that they won’t always feel this sad.
Try not to rush in
Your child sometimes just needs time to be sad so don’t try and cheer them up or distract them straight away.
When they seem ready, make time for some enjoyable physical activities that may help lift their mood. Try cuddling, moving to music, massage, deep breathing, bike riding, bouncing on a trampoline, playing on the swings in the park.
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