Kids experience human emotion just as adults do. They can feel anger, sadness, embarrassment, happiness, and more. But, they aren’t always able to put their emotions into words, as they’re still developing speech. So, they may try to express their emotions using various behaviors. And, while using behaviors to express emotions seems fine, they can sometimes lead to behavioral issues. To prevent negative behaviors and encourage proper emotional development in children, parents can help their kids express their feelings in more productive ways. In this article, we’ll determine how parents can help their children express their feelings. This way, their children can learn how to express their emotions in healthy ways rather than develop behavioral issues as a result of inappropriate behaviors.
There are a number of benefits to young children learning how to express their feelings. Not only does it allow adults who care for children to better understand their needs, but it puts the child in the position for success. Some of the benefits of younger children learning to express feelings may include:
One way to help young children learn to express their emotions and thus, help with emotional development is by using illustrations and words. For example, reading books to your child that includes pictures of people experiencing different emotions. This way, young children can start to understand the concept of emotions, what people look like when expressing different emotions, and how to identify these emotions in themselves.
Another great way to encourage emotional development in young children is to identify other people’s emotions. For example, if a character on a television show is feeling sadness, talk about this emotion with your young child. When children can better identify others’ emotions, they can better understand when they are feeling these emotions when they experience them. And, can form empathy as they learn to identify that these human emotions are a shared experience among all of us.
Lead by example and express your own feelings if you want your children to do the same. A child’s biggest role model is his mom and/or dad. So, when a young child’s parents share their feelings, the child will be more likely to share their own feelings. For example, if you’re feeling especially happy or excited, tell your child about how you’re feeling. Or, if you’re angry or sad, tell your child about these feelings and how you plan to overcome them using helpful coping skills like reasoning, rationalizing, and expressing.
If your child is displacing emotions with various negative behaviors, try to understand which behaviors result from which emotions. This way, you can understand what your child is experiencing and attempt to find alternative methods of dealing with these emotions. For example, if your child is throwing temper tantrums when they experience frustration, talk with him or her about their frustrations. And, present alternative ways to overcome this frustration like using breathing techniques and telling an adult about his/her feelings.
While there are certain things parents can do to help their young children understand and better express their feelings, other people can help young children too. For instance, instructors at an early learning facility.
At Ivy Prep Early Learning, we aim to help young children with all aspects of early development. These include cognitive, social, physical, and of course, emotional development. So, we aim to help children understand their feelings to give them the best chance at a healthy, successful academic future. To learn more about our early learning curriculum that touches on these aspects of development and our programs, contact us today!