Here are some tips on how to encourage your child to express their feelings.
Understanding feelings in kids
Kids deal with many of the same feelings adults do
Kids experience complex feelings just like adults. They get frustrated, excited, nervous, sad, jealous, frightened, worried, angry and embarrassed.
However young kids usually don’t have the vocabulary to talk about how they are feeling. Instead they communicate their feelings in other ways.
Kids can express their feelings through facial expressions, through their body, their behaviour and play. Sometimes they may act out their feelings in physical, inappropriate or problematic ways.
From the moment kids are born, they start learning the emotional skills they need to identify, express and manage their feelings. They learn how to do this through their social interactions and relationships with important people in their lives such as parents, grandparents and carers.
Being a parent means you’ve got a really important role to play in helping kids understand their feelings and behaviours. Kids need to be shown how to manage their feelings in positive and constructive ways.
When kids learn to manage their emotions in childhood it leads to positive attitudes and behaviours later in life.
Kids who learn healthy ways to express and cope with their feelings are more likely to:
Be empathic and supportive of others
Perform better in school and their career
Have more positive and stable relationships
Have good mental health and wellbeing
Display less behavioural problems
Develop resilience and coping skills
Feel more competent, capable and confident
Have a positive sense of self