Identifying, respecting, and expressing your feelings as an adult can be difficult. As a child, it can feel like an overwhelming task. As a parent, it’s important to set your child up for success in every aspect of their life, including teaching them to respect their own feelings. By helping your child learn to navigate their feelings, you can help your child learn to respect both themselves and those around them.
In order to identify their feelings, your child needs to be able to put them into words. By teaching your child simple feeling words, you can help them begin to understand their own thoughts and emotions. Some simple feeling words include happy, mad, sad, and scared. If your child is a little older, they may benefit from learning more complex feeling words, such as frustrated, nervous, disappointed, and excited.
A great way to help your child learn to identify emotions is by discussing how they believe characters in their favorite media, whether that be a movie, TV show, or book, feel. If they say happy, ask them why they may feel happy. Another great resource for helping your child learn to identify their emotions is through the Disney Pixar movie “Inside Out,” which explores the emotions of a child as she and her family move across the country.
Now that your child can properly identify how they are feeling, it’s important to encourage them to put those feelings into words. Ask your child how they are feeling this day; this can help your child get used to identifying their emotions and putting them into words. Once your child is able to identify their feelings, you can help your child learn to positively express emotions. For example, if your child is feeling angry, encourage them to take a “self-timeout” where they can go to their room to calm down. This can help them breathe before getting more upset.
Lake Forrest Prep, a private school in Orlando, wants to encourage you to help your child learn to respect their feelings. When your child can properly identify their emotions, they can learn the healthiest way to express their feelings. Remind your child that every feeling, from happiness to sadness, should be respected and that every feeling that they have is valid.