Emotions are complicated things, and many people do not know how to properly express or understand their emotions, whether they are a child or an adult. When your kiddo is young, you can help them begin to understand their emotions and handle them in a positive way. This allows them to better deal with tough emotions as they get older.
At Inch By Inch Child Care in Bedford, we believe that talking about emotions is an important part of your child’s development. Helping your kiddo understand what they are feeling and how to deal with that feeling can allow them to better express themselves and handle a variety of situations better.
In this blog, we are going to give you some tips on how to help your child understand their emotions. Read on to learn more and start teaching your kiddo about feelings today!
Start With Labels
Before your child can understand feelings, they need a word that they can associate with that feeling. While it is hard to put a label on a feeling that your child isn’t currently feeling, you can help label their feelings as you notice your kiddo experiencing them. If your child is nervous to go to school, you can let them know that you notice that they are nervous and that it is normal. You can ask them what they are nervous about and give them some tips that could help them calm their nerves.
Some labels are easy for your child to understand, such as sad, mad, happy, and scared. But other feelings and emotions are more complex and harder to express. These are the feelings that you need to help your child understand and start labeling for them. If you are feeling anxious one day, you can tell your child how you are feeling and why. This brings us to our next point.
Talk About Your Own Emotions
Talking about your own emotions and feelings with your child can help them realize that feeling different emotions is completely normal. They will feel more comfortable talking about their emotions when they see you doing it as well. Ask them how they are feeling, and if they aren’t sure, tell them how you are feeling and why. It can also be beneficial to let them know that sometimes we feel certain ways without having a reason and that instead of letting that feeling take over, you can control it and work on expressing that feeling in an appropriate way.
Be a Role Model
Your child learns a lot from watching you, which means that they will learn how to handle and express their emotions from watching how you handle and express them. If you are angry, instead of shouting and stomping around the house, let them know that you are angry and need some time to yourself. Go for a walk, lay in bed, or do whatever else helps calm you down. This will teach them how to effectively and positively handle their emotions.
Help Them Handle Their Emotions
Helping your child understand their emotions is one thing, helping them handle them in a positive way is another. Teach your child how to deal with their feelings and emotions in an appropriate way. If you don’t teach them how to handle their emotions at a young age, they will grow up not knowing how to properly deal with hard emotions.
Help your child come up with ways to deal with different emotions. If they are mad and need alone time, help them find a safe space where they can go blow off steam and calm down. If they are sad, maybe have them draw. Children can often use art as a way to express themselves and handle emotions.
Reinforce Positive Behavior
When you notice your child handling their emotions in a positive way, like going to their room to calm down rather than throwing a tantrum or yelling at their sibling, be sure to praise it. When they talk about what they are feeling in an appropriate way, give them praise. Your child will learn how to react to their emotions in a positive way with positive reinforcement.
It is important that you try not to get mad or punish them when they express their emotions negatively, however. This will not teach them how to express themselves better and it may make them nervous to share their emotions with you. Instead, calmly tell them that you understand how they are feeling and offer different ways that they can express those emotions.
Being available to listen to your child’s feelings is a great way for them to learn how to express them and better understand them. This can also help your child feel more comfortable talking about feelings, which is an important skill to have as an adult. When you listen to their feelings and help them navigate through them, you can help them learn a lot about feelings, themselves, and how to properly deal with them.
Understanding feelings and learning how to express them can be difficult. These tips can help you teach your child more about their feelings and how they should and can deal with them. You may even learn a thing or two about dealing with your feelings while helping your child navigate theirs!
If you are looking for a child care center in Bedford, be sure to check out Inch By Inch Child Care. We offer programs for infants and toddlers, as well as preschool and pre-k programs. Contact us to learn more!