In the recent blog post, we discovered that emotions are truly powerful when it comes to influencing our children’s development. We realized that letting them understand the concept of feelings is important because emotions form part of their personality, affect the totality of their lives, and even determine the kind of social relationships that they will have.
With these points, it is only crucial for parents to effectively teach the concept of emotions to children. Although it can be challenging, we can still conquer such a complicated task by following these powerful tips for sharing the concept of emotions to little kids:
1. Start being vocal about emotions at a young age.
When is the right time to start teaching about being happy, sad, mad, or excited? In reality, there are no specific standards. But we have to remove the notion that babies and even toddlers cannot understand emotions just because they are young. Contrary to what most people believe, young children are capable of relating certain feelings and actions to how the people around them react and talk.
When your child is upset because her older brother grabbed her toy, you can voice out what she feels. You may say, “I know that you are feeling upset. Yes, it is really sad to have your toy being taken away from you. But look, we can talk to your brother…”
2. Discuss the emotions expressed by certain book or movie characters.
Do you love telling stories at bedtime? Or do you instead enjoy watching movies during weekends? Whatever it is that you love doing, always use those activities as opportunities for new learning. When a character cries, you can stop reading for a while or pause the movie then ask your child how she thinks about the situation.
Then you can say that she may be sad or upset because of the events that happened. Doing this can help your child become more aware of other’s feelings and even be more open to the many possible emotions that she may feel.
3. Discover other opportunities for identifying emotions.
Don’t we experience a roller-coaster kind of emotions the entire day? Then there are surely a lot of times when we can point out certain feelings. In the morning when you wake up, you can start the day by saying “Oh, what a happy day that we see the sun shining!” Or maybe a few hours after when your children have messed up the room, then you can exclaim, “I’m really sad that you have not picked up your toys. Look at mom, I feel so tired. Maybe you can help me become happy by cleaning up?”
4. Ask them how they feel about certain activities and events.
How often do you ask your children about how they feel? Do you even think that it is an important question? Asking the current state of emotions of your children can help them validate their feelings. It is a clear indication that being mad is natural, experiencing sadness is temporary, and having happiness is acceptable. Once they learn to identify how they feel, then it would be much easier for them to survive the realities of life.
Teaching the concept of emotions to our children is not enough. We also need to teach them how to manage certain emotions and deal with their feelings. In the next post, we will cover these topics to help your children not just survive but also excel in the real world.
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