Chari Twitty-Hawkins is featured in the new documentary, The Overly Emotional Child

This new documentary helps parents gain a deeper understanding of why children may have BIG Emotions.

Learn how you can help your child:


  • Eliminate tantrums
  • Stop shutting down
  • prevent overreacting


Like a complete course to help parents and children gain emotional intelligence together.

Get more info on the documentary at


Liz Weaver (00:00):

In today's video, we have Emily Stone. Emily Stone is an independently licensed clinical social worker with a background, working with children, adolescents, and families in a variety of settings, including in-home therapy, inpatient hospitalizations, private practice, and school-based counseling. Emily works full-time for mightier, a biofeedback video game platform that helps children and adolescents learn emotion, regulation skills through play. Let's see what Emily has to say about helping children manage emotions.


Emily Stone (00:31):

Hi, there I'm Emily. Right now, we're in the midst of facing an incredibly stressful time for kids and adults. We've been faced with school closures jobs being at home canceled events missing loved ones. And while we're really resilient, this can lead to a lot of big feelings for kids and adults. And while some kids might feel an increase in this emotion and in their emotions due to the current events you know, some might have these big feelings in everyday life. And so I get the question often her parents, what can I do to help my overly emotional child? And there are a lot of things that we can do, and I just kind of want him to review some of them with you today. And so the first thing, when I'm talking about a kiddo, who's struggling with big feelings is, are their basic needs being met.


Emily Stone (01:12):

So we know that after months of homeschooling and our schedules moving into this more summer routine, that things like sleep and meal schedules have kind of gone out the window. And so if your child is seeming extra emotional look to see if their sleeping, eating habits are normal while I know that ice cream is definitely on my diet plan for this for the summer and an activity that I'm going to be partaking in making for the kids have healthy food and snacks, as well as making sure kids get plenty of sleep, especially when it starts to get lighter out later is a really important way for kids to stay kind of at baseline and stay regulated. Another important thing that we can think about when a kiddo is feeling emotional is validation. So when a kiddo comes to you and is feeling upset, if it sometimes might not make sense, right, the story might be disjointed.


Emily Stone (01:59):

It might seem confusing, maybe even a little silly at the time. I mean, I can't tell you how many kids have come to me and, you know, spoken about something that's going on for them and how they're feeling dysregulated, even something as silly as like, they looked at me weird and assembling, right? But we want to hear kids out. We want to make sure that we are understanding where they're coming from. Cause they're bringing the issue to you because they care, right? They care that they want you to know they want you to take care of them and they want you to have a safe space. So I often say to adults, think about, you know, when you can find a friend or a family member or a partner and they truly listen to something that's bothering you, how good that feels. And so we want to create that space for kids and the way we do that as we want to use empathetic listening.


Emily Stone (02:41):

So meaning that you ask questions, you help to clarify their feelings. You get them to talk and validate what they're saying, you know, through things like I understand when that you're feeling upset or I understand why you might've felt hurt. Right. I think it's really important to validate the feelings, not necessarily the behavior actions during these times of these stories, because, you know, if, if they were hurting another person or property or themselves, we want to make sure that we're validating the feeling, not something that might've been a negative outcome and then moving from there to problem solving, if that's the case and something that would be important. I think another huge part of helping kiddos when they have big feelings is education. So I stand behind the idea that no child ever wants to feel out of control of their emotions. And while it happens frequently to some kids, more than others, a lack of control and understanding why kids are feeling such big feelings can really contribute to lack of self-esteem more frustration and it's scary, right?


Emily Stone (03:37):

I mean, for a lot of adults, if you've ever felt completely out of control or not sure, you know, why you were anxious or why you were upset it can be really, really hard, right? And so I tend to see this happen, especially with like later elementary school, early middle school kids that they start to notice that peers are not you know, they're having a harder time controlling their emotions. They're having a harder time regulating their emotions and their peers and that which can also contribute to a lack of self-esteem. And so education is like as to why and how we're feeling. These feelings is a really important tool to help kids one normalize. And de-stigmatize the big feelings, right. But two to help them feel more comfort and move forward. And so we can kind of start with that by either, you know, helping kids to sense body cues.


Emily Stone (04:23):

Right. So saying, okay, when I feel anxious, you know, my stomach hurts. So I get butterflies in my stomach or when I get frustrated, my fist clench, right? So helping kids to identify direct body cues. The other piece that I sometimes like to bring out, especially for kids who are anxious or feeling a lot of big feelings around anxiety is talk about the biological basis, right? I mean, anxiety is there to protect us. It is there to serve as a trigger and as a warning for, for humans at the basic level that something is wrong. And you know, I'll say to kids like, it's okay that your, your warning alarm goes off more than other people, but that just means that you have to practice a little bit more to use coping skills to turn off that alarm when there's not actually, you know, a threat or something going on.


Emily Stone (05:07):

And I think education is power for kids and adults, right? The more we know the more we have control and the more say in power we have over big feelings. I think another thing to think about is that you as a parent are such an important person in your child's life, right? So another important tool that I think about in terms of managing big feelings is modeling. And so I think modeling can be done in a really, a lot of different ways, but it's most important for you to model, you know, that your fee, what you're feeling and give an example, and also what you're going to do about it, to make the situation feel a little bit better for yourself. So using things like I feel statements in which you're saying things like, I feel angry when I'm stuck in traffic, or I feel anxious when I'm lost and can't find my way and have lost my direction.


Emily Stone (05:50):

So having, having the ability to say that and I also encourage parents to think of something that able to do to overcome this big feeling. Right. So I encourage you to think of if it's taking a deep breath, but it's taking a walk around the block, something that helps you, and then thinking about how we can model this for kids. Right? So there's a very directive way of modeling. Like for example, like I'm feeling angry right now, I'm going to take deep breaths. Right. But then there's this other piece that I really like to help parents use that is putting kids in more of a leadership role. So it's having kids, you know, let's say you spill milk on the floor and there's milk everywhere. Encouraging parents to say, Hey, I'm feeling really frustrated right now. Cause I just spilled that milk everywhere.



Is there an external cause

Emily Stone (06:33):

Can you help me? What's something that can help me to calm down and clean up this mess and move on with my day. Right? So one that's helping them not feel alone that they have big feelings, right? Everybody has them, even mom, even dad, even grandma too, they get to know what to do when things are difficult, right. They get to learn a new skill. They get to see somebody else practice it. And three that they're helping others. Right. We really want kids to be able to feel the sense of autonomy and helpfulness, right. That really contributes to self-esteem. So modeling can be a really good way to do that. You know, and along, along with modeling, I think making sure that your kids have access to a lot of different coping skills and tools is a really important piece of allowing kids to feel really resilient and confident in their ability to manage big feelings.


Emily Stone (07:15):

There are so many wonderful resources out there in the lovely world of the internet, right. That can help us. But my suggestion to parents is always, if it looks different on different kids, that's okay. Right. So I think we would all love for kids to sit down and practice deep breathing, listen to meditation, but we also know that that's not the right fit for everybody. It's not a one size fits all scenario. So if some kids might feel better, if they go run around on the playground or do push-ups and sit-ups, some kids might find art and music, something that really helps to calm their big emotions while others can like, you know, read or do a puzzle to feel really, you know, distracted and move on from, you know, the situation at hand. And so I think allowing your child an opportunity to explore different techniques without judgment, without this expectation of what calm looks like, right.


Emily Stone (08:04):

Having them have the opportunity to find what works for them and asking them questions, like, what does it feel like when you do that puzzle or what was helpful this afternoon, when you felt frustrated? What, what helped and what didn't help can really create a conversation and some buy-in for kids to actually use these tools. So all in all on occasion, though, we do see that children have a really tough time sometimes managing their emotions to the point in which it's impacting their daily life in a negative way. So for some kids, it can be that they're having a really tough time at school cause their emotions have become so overwhelming. They're having trouble getting along with peers and siblings. And if that's the case, I mean, it can be really, really helpful to talk to your child's pediatrician, just regarding any potential and additional concerns and supports that they can put in place to really help. But all in all, just no matter what, no, that you and your child's are super resilient and that you're taking steps to, you know, develop skills and, you know, learn more things about their big emotions.




Make sure to watch the full documentary on childhood emotions. You'll learn how to help your child manage their own emotions. You'll learn about your own emotions and how they affect your child. And you'll learn simple ways of helping children improve behavior.

Get more info at

Can you help me? What's something that can help me to calm down and clean up this mess and move on with my day.

Key Takeaways:

First check sleeping and eating patterns
Find what activities soothe emotions
Are they having a rough time at school?

The Overly Emotional Child with Emily Stone

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