Teaching Your Children To Express Their Feelings
Feelings are complicated for everyone, and identifying how you feel can be very difficult from time to time, especially for children. At first, children don’t know why they feel certain ways and what their feelings mean in general. It’s up to you to give them the vocabulary they need to express that so that you can talk things out with them and help them to feel better. Children don’t often experience complex scenarios, especially at a young age, but they can still feel a range of emotions over what they perceive to be a negative or positive experience.
Giving feelings a name
If you don’t teach your children how to name their feelings, it can make it very difficult for them to express themselves through words, and they are much more likely to act out in other ways instead. Teaching them the words they need to label their feelings is going to make it much easier to express their feelings, and they may do so more often. You can observe their interests and help them to better understand why they feel a certain way.
Younger children don’t understand what’s good or bad for them, and until they know how to speak their mind, problems might just go unnoticed. You should make sure to receive checkups with your children at a doctor’s surgery or a pediatric chiropractor to make sure everything is okay. Random aches and pains might not be spoken about by children, and can be forgotten if it’s not something that happens often – but you want to make sure it can’t develop into something more.
Encourage the talks
Don’t just let them come out with it when they’re visibly feeling their emotions, but instead talk to them about it from time to time. Ask them how they feel, how they’ve felt throughout the day – let them express themselves and speak honestly about what they were thinking. It’s important that during these talks, you’re not dismissive of what your children feel, nor shut anything out without talking about it. Dismissing their feelings will take a toll on their confidence, and can cause them to avoid talking about their feelings as they grow up.
On the other side of things, you should be sure to talk about your own feelings, too. If you want your children to be honest and open with you, you need to be open with them, too. Remember, you’re their role model, and if they feel that you’re not doing something that you’re encouraging them to do – it sends a mixed signal. They may do as you do, and act like they’re not feeling anything, or even feel like their feelings aren’t valid when you seemingly never have anything to complain about.
Dealing with emotions
Once you’ve given them the vocabulary to talk about how they’re feeling, you can teach them how to better process these emotions. It would be normal for a child to throw a tantrum when they don’t understand why they can’t have what they want, but the more you talk to them about why things are the way they are – you can help them find better ways to express their frustration. Doing something that calms them, or talking about it openly to diffuse the situation. Of course, these are mature coping strategies, but they can be useful for children, too.