IN ORDER to help your child to manage their emotions it can be helpful to gain an understanding of why they behave the way they do. More often than not it is because they have an immature brain.

The brain is split into two areas: the higher and the lower brain. In the early years of life because a child’s higher brain is unfinished, the lower brain takes the lead.

This part of the brain has genetically ingrained emotional systems, such as rage, fear and separation distress. These are set up at birth to support your baby’s survival.

The higher brain helps your little one with reasoning and reflection, kindness, empathy and concern.

When we see a child having bursts of rage, screaming, rolling around on the floor, hitting and hurting and becoming distressed, this is basically because the emotional systems and primitive impulses in the lower brain are overwhelmed.

As a parent you can help your child manage these overwhelming feelings by using simple, calm actions.

If they are hitting out or damaging something, bring yourself down to their level, use their name and explain why it isn’t acceptable to behave in this way.

It is so important to speak calmly - if you are angry your child will just see your anger and the message will be lost.

Using distraction can also help diffuse a potentially-emotional explosion.

A child who receives emotionally responsive parenting will form vital connections, which will help the higher brain to take over in times of stress, thus reducing behaviour such as tantrum taking.

Next week: Half term fun