Perhaps amidst one of these negative states, we could ask the child to sit, close their eyes, and see if they are able to inwardly “see” and “feel” the anger or sadness to the best of their ability to do so (with deep breaths). We might share with them that these states are like clouds in the sky that are just meant to pass through, but if we hold onto them, they stick around. Learning to work with negative states in this way can help a young child in their forthcoming life, to strengthen their willingness to go beyond parts of themselves that only want to keep them captive in negativity.
This is also where cultivating your child’s attention will come into play very nicely. The more we work with our children in cultivating their attention, the more they will be able to “be” with the negative state when it arises in them. Of course, like all things, this takes time and effort. Be patient with your child. Be patient with yourself.
This practice will become a fruitful habit that can (and should) become as customary in a child’s life as brushing their teeth.
If you want to know more about how the practice of time out for a time in can really help your child, then check out this video below: