How Do You Teach Children Emotional Expression?
It can be difficult and frustrating when your young child cries, becomes angry, or withdraws from you and you don’t know why. Using a few simple techniques, you can teach and encourage your child to express these feelings appropriately. Help your child learn to identify emotions through a variety of games and activities (see author’s other articles). Begin with the feelings of happy, sad, and mad, and then work into more difficult ones like frustrated and disappointed. Express your child’s feeling for him or her. For example, when you see your child crying over something he or she can’t have say, “You look mad. You can’t have a cookie right now, and that makes you angry. See, you’re crying, you made your hands into fists, you sat down on the floor, and you’re kicking your feet against the cupboard. That means you’re mad. Say, ‘I’m mad.'” This teaches your child not only what the feeling is, but also the physical signs that go along with that feeling. Provide reassurance. Say, “It’s ok