Many children have problems in social situations because they may not be able to express their emotions correctly. Learning how to do so will let your child respond correctly to peers. If a child does not understand how to express their emotions, they may be prone to very aggressive and destructive behavior.
Teach emotions and what they mean
The first step in helping your child identify their feelings is to understand what feelings mean. This can be accomplished many different ways. There are many books and educational tools to teach children what feelings are. Making flashcards with the different emotions is also a great idea. One wonderful show to watch that teaches emotions is Ni Hao Kai-Lan. In this children’s show they talk about emotions and ask the children to identify how friends feel based on facial expression, and body language.
Teach it is ok to have emotions
Children need to know that it is ok to have emotions. It is ok to be mad or sad. These emotions cannot be avoided. Everyone feels these at some point in his or her lives. If your child is unable to tell you what emotion they are feeling, then giving them an example of how you would feel may give them the words they are trying to find. These discussions will lead your child in the right direction. The important to teach your child is that it is not having the emotion that leads to trouble but how they may choose to express it.
Teach positive expression of emotions
Now that your child can identify their emotions, they must now learn how to express them appropriately. This would include using their words to share how they feel. Sometimes they may have to talk about how they feel and why they feel that way. Other outlets may include drawing, and writing. Learning what outlet is best for your child may take some time.
Be a role model
A parent is a role model for correct behavior. Using your own emotion words will show children how to do it themselves. When you are angry with someone your child may be watching you to understand how to express this feeling. If you yell and scream, this is what your child will think is appropriate for this feeling.
Teaching your child how to handle their emotions correctly will help your children with many aspects of their life. Children that can express their feelings correctly do better in social situations including school, teams, and public places. It will give them a vocabulary boost that will be helpful to them as adults. The skill of expressing emotions approximately is one that will help your child for the rest of their lives.