Dealing With Sadness

About This Module

Sadness is an emotion that every child will feel at times throughout their life. When children are toddlers we can simply distract them from their negative emotions with a new game or something fun. At around the age of four children are no longer able to be distracted from their emotions and look to their parents for a new way to deal with them.

It’s important as a parent to help empower children to recognise when they are sad and to help them understand what’s caused them to feel sad.

This module will equip you with the skills to teach your child how to manage their sadness and move back to a feeling of happiness within an appropriate amount of time.

WeParent have developed strategies you can use as a parent to help your child understand and manage the times when they are experiencing sadness. By helping them recognise the physical feelings they get when they are sad will help your child understand the reasons they are sad. This is important to help your child to positively manage their emotions and their relationships.

What You'll Learn

  • Take the time to reflect on how you react when your child feels sad.

  • Help your child understand the emotion of sadness and give them positive strategies to manage it.

  • Help your child find lifelong strategies to cope when they are feeling sad.

  • Teach your child the benefit of vocalising their emotions.

  • Help your child learn how to deal with sadness and become more resilient.

WeParent Top Tip

Sadness is a healthy, emotional reaction and one your child will experience on a regular basis. Sadness may last one or two hours, or even a few days. Learning to cope with sadness is an important skill for children to learn during the mid-childhood years.

Grief is a more prolonged emotional reaction typically caused by the loss of a relationship. Whilst grief brings to mind the death of a loved one, this is not the only cause of grief in children. Friends moving away, parents splitting up or any other change which your child perceives as a loss of a relationship can cause them to experience grief.

If you are unsure if your child is experiencing grief or sadness, start with the sadness module and proceed to the grief module if needed.

Psychology Fun Facts

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  • Teaching our children to manage sadness is vitally important as being able to process sadness in a healthy way is shown to reduce depression and anger issues in adulthood.

  • What may seem insignificant to us through adult eyes that’s made our child sad, is a big deal to them. It’s important to make sure that as parents, you are not dismissing their sadness. Even if you think what’s making them sad seems silly. Use this age to teach your child the vital skill of understanding and managing sadness as this will set them up for the bigger issues life will undoubtedly throw at them.

  • Sadness is a contagious emotion. Being around someone who is sad can cause others to feel sad. This can cause parents to try and ‘cheer up’ their child too quickly as it may trigger an emotion of sadness either in the parent or in others.

  • It’s very important to allow children to be sad and not try and force them to repress or hold in this negative emotion. Sadness, as with all emotions, is a waste product of the body, and therefore needs to be processed and not allowed to build up. This can result in teaching them that the way to deal with sadness is to ignore it. This doesn’t equip children to cope well with sadness and grief later in life.

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