Karyn Ellis, M.A., L.M.H.C.

Emotional Regulation & Self-Charting

Many kids struggle with emotional regulation. There is a reason some children overreact and end up yelling, crying, screaming, and throwing temper tantrums. Something happened, and the child most likely doesn’t know the appropriate emotional response. They are unable to regulate their emotions.

There are so many reasons for this behavior:

How you can help

Try to track or monitor their behavior:


Here are some charts I created for your child to fill out.

My Emotion Chart (PDF)

1 is low or normal and 10 is very upset. In the circles they can draw the face that they have at each emotion stage. In the blank space they either write in what happens then they get upset or what level of emotion they feel.

Problem-Solving Chart (PDF)

Have your child sit down and think about their feelings and what made them feel that way. What was the problem? Was someone mean, did they not get their way, etc. Then they can list and think through possible solutions. It helps break down problem-solving into manageable parts.

These charts give your children the power to express themselves, while give you an opportunity to positively engage with them about their emotions.

It is normal for children to emotionally act out to some degree. If you notice a pattern to their behavior, write it down and see how you can help them. Encourage your child to talk about emotions: anger, sadness, frustration, etc. are all good emotions. It is their reaction to those emotions that matters. If you notice their behaviors intensifying or getting worse, or you find out there is a transition or traumatic cause to the behaviors, you should consider seeking child counseling.