Marie, a bright and vivacious 4-year-old girl, had always been a source of joy for her parents, Sarah and David. However, as she grew older, they began to notice that Marie’s emotional struggles were becoming increasingly challenging. She frequently had tantrums, outbursts of anger, and mood swings that puzzled and concerned her parents.
Marie’s emotional struggles became evident when she was around three years old. At first, her parents thought these challenges were part of normal childhood development, but as they persisted and intensified, they realised that there might be an underlying issue. Marie exhibited symptoms of low emotional regulation in many ways.
Marie would have intense meltdowns over seemingly minor issues, such as not getting her preferred snack or having to share a toy. She would lash out in frustration, often hitting or screaming, which left her parents bewildered and helpless.
Her moods were unpredictable. One moment, she could be giggling and happy, and the next, she would be inconsolable. She often struggled to articulate her feelings, leading to increased frustration. She found it challenging to control her impulses, making it difficult for her to follow simple rules and routines. Was this going to be a permanent personality trait, or was there something that could be done to help her handle her emotions better? This is the difference between having better or worse emotional intelligence.