If you are a parent, you can probably attest to the truth that kids have some interesting ways of expressing themselves! As they grow older, you can see their little personalities begin to shine. No doubt, watching them come into their own is fascinating to you. Parents love to see how their little ones show what they’re thinking and explore new modes of communication. But, sometimes, kids have a hard time learning how to show their true feelings in the best way. It’s not always easy for little ones to express what they’re feeling or thinking. This difficulty is not exactly unnatural. But, if kids who struggle in this area don’t get help, this issue could affect them for years to come. So, it’s important for parents to learn some ways of helping children express feelings. These methods can assist parents and teachers in helping kids progress in this area.
Emotions and feelings are normal and natural parts of life. Happiness, sadness, anger, confusion, excitement, and many more emotions enter our lives on a regular basis. Everyone feels one or more emotion all the time and kids are no exception. They are often trying to figure out exactly what they’re experiencing. Many times, the feelings they have are very new to them since they are young and still growing quite a bit. Understandably so, this makes it difficult for them to work through those newfound feelings. They may not always know just how to manage the emotions they’re dealing with. That’s why the adults in their lives have to work on ways to assist them. Helping kids express feelings isn’t always an easy task; it can prove to be pretty tough sometimes! But, it is definitely helpful. Not only will this help your children but it will also help you.
Helping children express feelings is not just a matter of making sure they have names for their emotions. It’s not just about helping them to feel better. And the goal is not to make sure your little ones always feel happy. Although we certainly hope that our kids will always experience positive emotions, it’s important to understand that things like sadness and even anger are natural emotions and are just as important as our happier emotions. It’s also important to understand that managing our feelings, positive and negative alike, is very critical. The ways in which your children deal with their emotions will affect various areas of their lives. That includes their relationships with peers and with you. It will help to make communication with your little ones all the more effective! So, how can you help your kids manage their feelings? We’ve got some great tips you can use!
Again, sometimes, kids aren’t sure how to identify what they’re feeling. This can definitely be frustrating for them because it prevents them from really understanding their emotions. No doubt, you know that there’s nothing quite as difficult as struggling to understand what you feel. Your kids certainly experience this from time to time, especially when they feel an emotion that is new to them. Truthfully, having a name for the emotion they have is one way to help them manage it. If you know what you’re feeling, it may help you to figure out why you’re feeling that way. This will allow you to work on ways to manage those emotions. That being said, it might be beneficial to help kids to name their feelings. Then, they’ll understand what it means to feel sad, excited, angry, happy, and so forth. As a result, they’ll be able to express themselves well.
Sometimes, children aren’t really able to express their feelings because they simply don’t have the vocabulary yet. For example, a child may be experiencing a sort of melancholy. But, most likely, your little one won’t know this word and won’t be able to quite describe his or her emotions with a synonym. If your kids aren’t really sure how to name what they’re feeling, you can use another method. One way to “name” feelings is by associating a color or facial expression with emotions. For example, a sad face can indicate the emotion of sadness. A yellow circle might equate to an “in-between” feeling (not exactly sad but not exactly happy, either). You can post colored circles or facial expression images on a wall in your home and have your child point to the one that best describes how they’re feeling when they’re struggling to express their feelings.
Remember, helping children express feelings may not always involve words. There is just as much importance in the nonverbal expressions than in the verbal ones.
Listening is one of the best things you can do for your little ones. They need to know that what they say and feel matters to you. Even if they’re not sure how to explain what’s going on inside, listen to them. They do have something to say, even if they can’t figure out how to say it. Ask them about their day and learn about their lives when they’re apart from you. Find out how school makes them feel. Listen to them as they share information. As they speak more, they’ll learn more about effective ways of communicating.
Helping children express feelings also means helping them find an answer to their situation. Say your little guy is so excited that he could burst! Help him figure out a way to channel that energy. Sometimes, kids aren’t sure how to express their feelings, both good and bad. So, it’s up to you to help them manage and work through their emotions.
Finally, it will help if you tell your kids how you’re feeling. Kids should hear their parents explain things in a way that they can understand. If your kids use the nonverbal expressions we suggested earlier, use that same system to communicate your feelings to them. Whether you’re feeling happy or upset, you can let your kids know in a calm and effective way. It’s important to show them that it’s good to tell others how you’re feeling. This is one of the best methods of helping children express feelings. As you express your emotions, they’ll learn how to better communicate their own!
Let your kids know that it’s okay to feel. It’s actually good to feel. Help your kids to understand and appreciate their emotions. When your little ones are around you, celebrate with them when they’re happy about an accomplishment. Help them work through their sadness. Be sure to create an atmosphere where emotions and feelings are normal. Create a “safe place” for emotional expression. If your children feel comfortable working through their emotions, they will likely become more comfortable managing and dealing with their feelings when they’re around their peers and spending time at school.
Kids are learning so much when they are in their learning environments. When your children are at school, they are sure to feel new emotions. Perhaps, they’ll feel anxiety because they’re away from you. Maybe they’ll feel excited about making new friends. Or, your kids could feel shy because they’re meeting new people. All of these emotions could be completely foreign to your little ones. So, helping children to express feelings will prove to be even more beneficial as they experience different feelings.
If you’re looking for a wonderful learning environment where your kids can feel comfortable expressing their own personalities and feelings, there’s no need to look any further! Here at Ivy Prep Early Learning Academy, we understand that kids need to express themselves. We know that little ones need the freedom to grow and learn more about themselves. As they grow more emotionally, they are also developing mentally, physically, and socially. They need space to grow in these areas.
We provide positive learning environments where they can do just that. Our programs offer children learning opportunities and activities that allow them to flourish in every way possible! Ivy Prep is not just a daycare center or a school for young children. It’s an academy that is dedicated and committed to the overall health of the children in our care. So, your child’s emotional health is just as important to us as his or her physical and cognitive development!
Contact us today to find out more about our facilities!
**Posted on June 4, 2018. Updated on March 12, 2019.