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Emotion Regulation and Managing Anxiety in Children

Emotion Regulation and Managing Anxiety in Children

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety to watch out for in our child?

How does our child’s developing brain impact their emotional regulation?

How can we parents best support our child deal with stress and anxiety?

At last week’s ISH parent workshop, Zoe Andrews, ISH pre-school to Grade 4 School Counselor introduced parents to pediatric neuroscience to help them understand what is happening in the child’s brain, how to detect poor emotional self-regulation and the best strategies and tips for parents to support their child’s emotional development. 

Parents learnt about how their child's brain develops, signs and symptoms of anxiety to look out for, the importance of emotion regulation to support children’s social and emotional growth and also having clear, consistent boundaries for children to feel secure as they learn and grow. 

Here are practical strategies for parents to support their child's emotional development. 

  • Help your child to recognise and label emotions. Label feelings when you see your child experience them (e.g “I see you look angry, perhaps you feel a little sad too?”, “what is the feeling right now?”)

  • Allow children to experience minor setbacks and challenges, encourage and praise their efforts.  This will develop resilience.

  • Have clear non-negotiable boundaries with consistent consequences. Do not allow your child’s anxiety to excuse poor behaviour choices.

For further reading about this topic

  • The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel

  • Why Love Matters by Sue Gerhardt

  • Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen



Zoe Andrews has been the ECC to Grade 4 School Counsellor at the International School of Hamburg since 2019. She holds a Masters degree in Art Psychotherapy and has worked with children and young people for over ten years. Zoe previously worked at international schools in Shanghai, China for six years and before that with children and young people who had experienced trauma in the UK.