The first step in helping kids (or anyone for that matter) to deal with and process the difficult emotions in their lives is to help them understand and name emotions. At Hope 4 Hurting Kids, we use the Super Simple Feelings Management Technique for that. Once we have helped kids to understand their emotions, we need to provide them with means for dealing with those emotions.
The second step towards emotional maturity and healing is to develop a robust set of coping skills. Coping Skills are designed to help “take the edge” of emotions and assist us in dealing with them. Unfortunately, that moment when a young person is drowning in emotions is not the right time to start thinking about coping mechanisms. Instead, it is important that kids and teens have at their disposal a tool box full of coping mechanisms that work for them that they can draw from in a time of crisis.
At Hope 4 Hurting Kids, we’ve developed another mnemonic to help keep track of the many different types of coping mechanism. This time we borrowed from the title of a popular book series by Richard Carlson. The different types of coping skills can be readily recalled by remembering the phrase:
Please Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff