Hot Topics     Home and Family    

5 tips to help regulate your emotions



Modeling your stress response for your kids is important

5 tips to help regulate your emotions


Children may learn a great deal in school, but far and away their most important teachers are their parents and other family members. In classrooms, they gain academic knowledge, and even acquire invaluable social skills, but at home, with their families, they will copy behaviors both positive and negative.

Of course we want to keep things as positive as possible, and we want our kids to constructively learn how to deal with the negatives by looking at our good example. But in this final stretch of the winter of the pandemic, with continued isolation, that can be more of a challenge. Luckily, Matt Schneiderman at Fatherly is here to help with five easy tips on how to recognize when a difficult emotional situation is imminent, and how to either avoid it, or deal with it in a healthful way.

First off, he reminds us of the costs of insufficient emotional regulation: “If we let our emotions control us, they do just that: angry, our hearts race and there are strong changes in our breathing. Too little — if we clamp down on emotions as they arise — can lead to worsened mental and physical health.”

Suppression is particularly bad for men, although Schneiderman says it’s “often a go-to strategy for men.” But studies show people who suppressing emotions “do poorly on memory tests, or worse. Long-term, suppression leads to cardiovascular and mental health problems.”

So how about those tips to help find a happy medium?

1. Situation selection

This is basically being more mindful of what situations you allow yourself to be in. Often, this is not in our control, but when it is, choose wisely. Schneiderman’s interviewee, Dr. James Gross, Director of the Stanford Psychophysiology Laboratory and a leading expert in emotion regulation, puts it this way: “If you’re thinking about going to beach but it’s a long drive and there’s traffic, versus the park or zoo which is not a long drive, and if they’re about even as to how fun it’ll be for the kids, pick the option in which you don’t drive.”

2. Situation modification

Rather than blow up, modify the situation. For instance, Schneiderman says, “When stay-at-home orders are in effect, and your kids are in each others’ faces and getting on each others’ nerves, separate them.”

READ MORE: Win yourself back from stress

3. Attention deployment

Gross puts it this way: “Change your attention and you change your emotion. Attention is a vehicle for achieving your emotional regulation goals — shifting towards or away from one aspect of the situation.”

4. Cognitive change

Change your thinking. If your child is whining, rather than react, think about how hard the pandemic is on them.

5. Response modulation

Basically, breathe deeply. Accept what’s happening, but rather than fight it, or let it take you over, breathe through it. “It’s the idea that you are trying to change the output of your emotions,” Gross says.

Good luck! We’ll get through this.



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Calling all birdwatchers

    Check out Birdability which promotes birding for everyone

    Through education, outreach and advocacy, Birdability works to ensure the birding community and the outdoors are welcoming, inclusive, safe and accessible for everybody. We focus on people with mobility challenges, blindness or low vision, chronic illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental illness, and those who are neurodivergent, deaf or hard of hearing or who have other health concerns. In addition to current birders, we strive to introduce birding to people with disabilities and other health concerns who are not yet birders so they too can experience the joys of birding. read more »
  • 9/11 Remembrance Ceremonies

    Come and remember the people who were lost, first responders & survivors

    Events to honor the victims, first responders, and survivors of the 9/11 attacks. read more »
  • Mother Shares Her Journey with Heroin-Addicted Daughter

    Read the gripping new book about this family

    September is National Recovery Month and one mom has shared her journey with her daughter struggling with addiction. read more »
  • Learn How to Help Your Struggling Adolescents Navigate Change and Overcome Anxiety

    Parenting expert Erica Komisar has a new book that can assist you

    Adolescence is a notoriously complicated time for kids as well as their parents. Plus, the epidemic of mental health disorders in young people has made parenting today even more challenging. But it’s not too late. Parents of adolescents can still have a profound impact on the health and well-being of their children. read more »
  • 5 of the best movies your teen can watch at home

    Entertain your kids with these flicks from Netfilx

    Writing for Popsugar, Sabienna Bowman shares her top movie picks for teens read more »
  • Master P On Rap Feuds, Conscious Parenting, Black Superheroes

    Allison Kugel interviews this rap icon

    Interview with rap icon Master P by Allison Kugel. Here he talks about family and more. read more »
  • Cool new food savers from Lasting Freshness

    Vacuum seal your food to keep it fresh longer

    Using this patented handheld Vacuum System your food is preserved up to 5 times longer than food stored using conventional grocery storage methods. read more »
  • Mama Bear Effect Launches New Resource to Combat Child Sexual Abuse

    Parents of young children and those with special education needs now have a free tool to educate children about their bodies and boundaries

    Parents, caregivers, teachers, and therapists now have a new tool to educate the most vulnerable population of children, those who need specialized assistance with learning and communication. read more »
  • Dirty, sweaty laundry making your house stinky?

    Here is a great solution from STNKY

    STNKY Bags are the best way to sort, store, carry, wash and dry everything from sweaty gym clothes, laundry when you travel, scrubs, and just about anything else that gets dirty or sweaty. read more »
  • Get Green this September

    Be a Friend of the Environment

    NYS Department of Environmental Conservation offers tips on cleaning out your closet and recycling your discarded clothing. read more »