| by Thuy Truong, M.A. Ed., TPT Teaching and Coaching, 8/17/2021|
Imagine this. A child who is afraid of the dark and has begun to form a negative pattern of fear-based inclinations. What is a parent to do? In this particular situation, there are often two routes one can take: you can teach the child to gradually overcome the fear by facing it head on. This may be uncomfortable at first, but the child will learn to develop a strong self-talk routine to overcome and transform negative emotions into positive thoughts in the long run, which will result in a lifelong skill and benefit. Or, you can teach the child to nurture the fear through consistent avoidance, an understandable choice no doubt, but this will stunt the child's ability to foster resilience to overcome adversity, which is a fundamental life skill. I think the choice is obvious for parents. Perhaps, that explains why a wise father said to his young son who doesn't like to sleep with the lights off: "The light is within you." Then, he turns off the bedroom's lights to help his son practice becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable. Emotional regulation must be taught; students cannot learn it by themselves. This may be the most vital lesson that your child will carry throughout his life. If you would like to teach your child how to deal with their negative emotions during life's difficulties, you can incorporate the three steps below flexibly into your daily routine.
Step 1: Transformative Reflection
You can ask your child to reflect the day by asking them how was their day, which prompts them to