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You are here: Home / Family & Relationships / Family Resilience / Managing Emotions

Managing Emotions

Children and teens learn many things from their families. One of these can be how to manage emotions and stress. Below are some resources that you could use to help manage emotions – as adults or children!

HPRC thanks the Families Overcoming Under Stress Program (FOCUS) for allowing us to post many of their resources.

FOCUS Emotional Awareness Activities [PDF]
Everyone in the family can benefit from learning ways to manage emotions. Due to development, younger children can be taught how to talk about and manage emotions in fun, age-appropriate activities. FOCUS created four worksheets that describe different activities you can try, included with an introduction in the large document linked above or downloadable separately below.
FOCUS Feelings Chart [PDF]
Use this handout to teach feeling words that everyone in the family can use.
FOCUS Mapping My Feelings [PDF]
Once each person in the family has a good vocabulary of feeling words, you can do an art activity where each person draws him/herself and marks on the drawing where they feel certain feelings.
FOCUS Emotional Snapshot [PDF]
Another activity you can do with your children as a way to talk about emotions is to draw a circle on a piece of paper and fill in the circle with colors for how each person feels.
FOCUS Feelings Hot Potato [PDF]
“Hot Potato” is an activity that can be done as a whole family to practice talking about feelings.
FOCUS Calming & Grounding Activities [PDF]
Children and teens learn many things from their families. One of these can be how to manage emotions and stress. Some great strategies for families to use to manage high emotions and stress are: abdominal breathing, deep breathing, guided imagery, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation and progressive muscle relaxation for younger children. The FOCUS program calls these “Calming and Grounding Activities” and has created worksheets that describe each one, included with an introduction in the large document linked above or linked separately below.
Abdominal Breathing [PDF]
Abdominal breathing is a techniques that can activate your body’s relaxation response. Do it by yourself or as a family.
Deep Breathing [PDF]
Deep breathing is a technique that can activate your body’s relaxation response. Do it by yourself or as a family.
Visualization [PDF]
Being able to visualize important things (like accomplishing your goals, relaxing your body, or spending happy times with your loved ones) can put you in a great frame of mind and build resilience.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation [PDF]
Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a method in which you systematically tense and relax the various muscles of your body for total relaxation.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation for Younger Children [PDF]
This sheet describes an age-appropriate way for younger children to do progressive muscle relaxation.
Parenting For Service Members and Veterans Module 3: Helping Your Child with Difficult Emotions & Behavior
The Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs website on parenting has information on managing emotions for military families. They also have specific information on the impact of your emotions and parenting, and helping your child cope with difficult emotions.
Parenting For Service Members and Veterans Module 5: Managing Stress and Emotions as a Parent
The Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs website on parenting for military families has a section on how to manage stress and emotions as a parent – with worksheets on replacing your thoughts, having positive thoughts, keeping your cool with your child and how to communicate your feelings.
Parenting For Service Members and Veterans Module 6: Parenting with Emotional & Physical Challenges
The Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs website called Military Parenting has tip sheets and videos on parenting with emotional and physical challenges. They provide resources for talking about PTSD, physical injuries, parenting with emotional and physical challenges and other items.
Feelings Thermometer Worksheet
A common image for how to talk about emotion management—particularly anger—is a thermometer. Use the image of the thermometer to talk to your children about where they are on the “anger” scale. This is a great way to understand children’s feelings and talk about how you process emotions when they get too hot, so their anger temperature goes down.