Filling Your Child’s Emotional Cup

photo of man carrying baby

Imagine every child has a cup that needs to be filled with affection, love, security, and attention. Some children seem to have a full cup most of the time, or know good ways to get a refill. However, some children can get a little nervous when their cup is close to being empty.

How to fill your child’s emotional cup:

  • Play with your child.
  • Allow your child to make friendships and keep those friendships alive with play dates.
  • Have some one-on-one time with your child. Do something fun together, or even have some snuggles and read a book together.
  • Showing your child love and affection can brighten their day! A hug always makes someone feel better.
  • Make a connection with your child. These connections show that you’re interested in what your child is doing and learning.
  • We always want our children to succeed in what they do. Encourage them that they can do hard things!
  • Do something your child loves. Doing what they love to do or what they choose to do gives them a sense of control and they can explore the world around them.

What empties your child’s cup:

  • Stress and strain.
  • Rejection by peers.
  • Loneliness and isolation.
  • Yelling and punishment.
  • Failing.
  • Fatigue.
  • Doing something they’re forced to do or something they hate to do.

Some ways children deal with having an empty cup:

  • They steal from other children’s cups.
  • They misbehave to get your attention and show they need a refill.
  • They seem to have bottomless cups or they need constant topping off.
  • They can’t sit still for refills or actively refuse them.
  • They bounce off the walls when they approach empty.
  • They think they have to fight or compete for every refill.

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