Reduce Shame: Help Kids Understand Why They Lose Control

Teaching children how to manage their emotions is an essential skill to ensure healthy and positive relationships. We previously discussed the benefits of bringing awareness to our feelings and naming them to exert control. However, giving kids tangible descriptors to understand how their brains maintain control can also help them know how to bring their brains back under their control.

Kids Want to Know created a video, “Why Do We Lose Control of Our Emotions?” which helps elementary-aged students understand how their brains work and how to manage their emotions.

The video utilizes the Hand/Brain Model of “Flipping Your Lid” developed by Dr. Daniel Siegel, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and executive director of the Mindsight Institute. In the model, Dr. Siegel uses our fist as a representation of the brain and the thumb on the inside of the fist as a the “

When children understand how their brains function and why they lose control, they can stop the cycle of shame and self-hatred that often accompany their unintended outburst. Additionally, children begin to recognize the warning signs that they are close to losing control and can take proactive steps to bring their brains back online, specifically, taking deep cleansing breaths and asking for help from a trusted adult.