Is it important to teach your child about emotions? What and How?
EMOTIONS such as happy, mad, sad and scared can be taught to children as early as two years old. The older they grow, emotions such as frustration, anger, shy, etc can be taught
Feelings are complicated, especially when a 4-year-old kid does not understand why he is being asked to eat and sleep on time when a 10-year-old gets upset when you ask them to stop playing and study. It is difficult to teach children about feelings. It’s hard to tell them about how it feels like, to be scared, angry, or sad, etc.
WHAT AND HOW?
Firstly, teach your children to use their words, whenever they feel upset or mad. Now, you may be feeling that your kid will verbalize to you, as to how they are feeling. Wrong! It is impossible or difficult for a kid to express in words, what they feel because they do not know what to name that feeling. But instead, they show us their feelings, by throwing temper tantrums and meltdowns. Even before you ask your kid to use their words to express their feelings, teach them as to what kind of words do we use for, which feeling.
Label the feeling: Make it a habit to label the feeling, that your child is expressing. For instance, if your kid is sad that you didn’t let him play outside, say something like “ looks like someone is upset about not going out and playing or “ looks like someone is sad.”
Reading to your child and discuss, how the characters in the story are feeling: One way you can help your child identify the feeling like the way they do is by facial expressions. Then explain why the character feels that way if your kid can then let them do so.
Let them know that their behavior may make others feel:
Do this when your child does something upsetting, that made the opposite person feel. For example, if your kid acts rude to someone tell him, that the person felt bad and was hurt. In this way, your child will be aware of what they do and say to others. Not only this but ask them as to how would they feel when others do the same thing to them. Teach them to put themselves into someone else’s shoes and be empathetic. Learning how to be empathetic can help your kid to maintain a healthy relationship with others.
Be a model to your kid:– Your kids are likely to imitate what you do. If you act positively even to a negative situation, eventually even your kid will try to imitate you. In the same way, if you are behaving rude or throwing up things, when you are angry your kid will adapt to such behavior.
Teach them how to express their feelings:-It’s very important for children to know that it’s OK to have feelings. But what is more important to teach them is, how to express them. When your child is calm teach them how to calm themselves when they are upset.
Appreciate: – Appreciate your kid when he uses his words to express his feelings. Having the self-control to express, what they feel is not at all an easy task. Most of the adults are unable to do that. Learn to appreciate them when they tell you how they feel instead of having a competition for a meltdown.
For example “ I like the way you told daddy of how sad you were when he didn’t buy you chocolate” this will encourage them to continue to do good things. Also, they will be happy that their good works are being appreciated.
It is very important for a kid to know as to how they feel, what they feel and how to express and react to such situations appropriately. Expressing how they feel will result in fewer child tantrums and meltdowns.
This will also help them in maintaining good relationships and getting along with others. This will help them in not only making good friends but, himself being a good friend or companion.