Children are often very emotionally expressive. Unfortunately, when emotions being expressed turns into screaming or throwing tantrums, it can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, there are things you can do to help teach your little one on how to express their emotions in a healthy way.
Not only will this allow your child to help identify their needs to you, but it will also teach them valuable knowledge that will help them grow into an emotionally intelligent adult.
Check out this quick guide to learn more about teaching your child to identify and express emotions in a healthy way.
Help to Name Emotions
Identifying emotion is a challenge that most young children face. They simply have not yet learned the word to identify how they feel. You can help them to identify how they are feeling by talking to them about what feelings are and helping them associate their actions with a specific emotion.
Teaching them simple connections like crying means you are sad, laughter means you are happy, throwing an item means you are angry, can help them to begin to put words to how they feel.
You can also point out the emotions of other people, or characters in their favorite movies and books to help them develop an understanding of what those emotions look like.
Lead by Example
We all know by now that children are little sponges, meaning that they tend to absorb what is seen in their environment, both at home and in the classroom. Your child will often mirror the emotional expressions seen in their surroundings.
You can help to teach your child to express their emotions in a healthy way by being a good example. If something upsets you, practice patience and express verbally, in a calm manner, that you are upset or angry and why.
By verbally acknowledging the emotions you are feeling, and being conscious of how you are expressing them, you are teaching your little one healthy ways of expression. Also, be mindful of this when picking a preschool, and try to ensure the environment they are going into will also nurture this emotional growth.
Beware of Punishing
One of the biggest mistakes a parent can make is punishing a child for their emotional expression. If your child throws a temper tantrum and you respond by spanking or putting them in timeout, you have taught them that their emotions are bad. This can lead a child to bottle up how they feel until one day they have a full-on meltdown.
Instead, try to encourage them to process their emotions in more productive ways, and encourage them to talk about why they lashed out. Your patience will be rewarded with a child who is then able to healthily express how they feel.
Don’t forget the importance of praise. You want to encourage and reward them after they have verbally expressed how they feel to help reinforce that good behavior.
Teaching Your Child to Identify and Express Emotions
Teaching your child to identify and express emotions is one of the most rewarding and beneficial things you can do. This is a tough area for a child to navigate on their own and their emotional expression is a huge part of how they will interact with the world around them.
Keep these tips in mind when talking to your child about emotions. If you are looking for an encouraging school environment for your child, be sure to contact us.