When a child learns how to positively express its feelings, it develops effective emotion management skills. Here are a few useful tips that will show you how to encourage your child to talk about its emotions.
How to Encourage Your Child to Talk About its Emotions – Kids also have feelings like adults
Whether you realize it or not, your child also has the same emotions as you do. They also get jealous, nervous, excited, frustrated, embarrassed, angry, worried, frightened, and sad. But they don’t possess the tools to cope with these emotions as their vocabulary isn’t as developed as ours. Therefore, they express their emotions in their own ways.
By their own ways, we mean body language, play, and overall behavior. That’s why kids sometimes act out in problematic, inappropriate, or physical ways.
As soon as they are born, kids learn how to identify, manage, and express their emotions. This learning process starts with the people who are closest to them (parents, siblings, grandparents). Meaning that you as a parent, play an extremely important role in your child’s emotional development. By emotional development, we mean learning how to cope with their emotions in a constructive and positive way.
Learning how to cope with emotions in childhood leads to positive behaviors and attitudes as a grownup
A child that knows how to cope with and express its feelings in a positive way is more likely to:
- Become supportive and empathic with others
- Advance in school and career later
- Have stable and positive relationships
- Be mentally healthy
- Have fewer problems with bad behavior
- Gain coping and resilience skills
- Be more confident, capable, and competent
- Gain a positive sense of itself
Your role in your child’s emotional skills development
Here are a few useful tips on helping your child learn how to express its emotions:
Pay attention to cues
When they are young, it’s hard to identify what your child is feeling. That’s why you need to pay attention to listen to what your child is saying, how it’s behaving, and the body language its displaying. This will help you in figuring out what your child is feeling so that you can help it manage and express those emotions in a healthy way.
There’s a feeling behind every behavior
Keep in mind that behind every behavior your child displays, there’s a certain feeling. Once you know which emotion is behind the behavior, you can help with teaching your child to express it in a proper way.
Naming the feelings
It is important to teach your child how to name each emotion. By knowing how to name an emotion, your child expands its emotional vocabulary and finds talking about it much easier. This helps them in identifying their emotions and channeling them in a healthy way.
Recognizing emotions in others
Teach your child how to identify emotions in other people. You can talk with your child about what it thinks a certain person (whether a real person or a cartoon character) is feeling right now. This is a great way to make your child relaxed and open to discussing feelings and learning to recognize other people’s feelings, based on facial expressions.
Turning yourself into a role model
Children learn emotions and how to cope with them by observing their parents and people close to them. Therefore, you are the one that has to set an example and show your child what it’s feeling in certain situations and how to channel those emotions.
Praising your child to encourage positive behavior
When your child talks about its feelings or expresses them in a healthy manner, you should praise it. This way, you will let your child know that it’s normal to have feelings and talk about them, as well as encourage it to repeat that positive expression.
How to encourage your child to talk about its emotions and express its feelings in a positive way
When kids are frustrated or angry, they usually throw toys. Also, they find it hard to settle down after they’ve had an exciting day. This is a great opportunity for you to teach your child how to express its emotions in a healthy and positive manner. Here are some useful tips for coping with their emotions:
- Teach your child to take deep breaths when angry or frustrated
- Let it know that it’s okay to ask for support or help
- It’s okay to take a break if something isn’t going their way
- Sometimes doing certain things means finding more ways to solve the problem, not just one
- Problems can be solved with words
- Don’t act out, say what you feel
- Grownups understand what’s happening
- Asking for a cuddle or a hug when feeling bad is always okay
You play an important role in your child’s emotional development
The first step in teaching your child in managing its emotions is helping in identifying the feelings. A child that is capable of identifying, understanding, and coping with a wide range of emotions, is more likely to have a healthy mental state and better overall wellbeing as a grownup. If you need some help in knowing how to encourage your child to talk about its emotions, feel free to ask us, we will gladly help.