When Your Child Masters Their Feelings They Master Their Life!
On today’s inspiring and exciting blogpost Annette discussed how to talk about how to teach your child about their feelings and how to manage them better.
Okay, let’s go. As children mature, they’ll experience all kinds of emotions, like all humans.
They’ll also have reactions to those feelings and emotions because of their natural responses. They’ll find it helpful to learn to manage their emotions as early in life as possible. You can do a lot to help them with this.
So here’s a few tips to help you teach your child about their feelings and emotions.
Here’s a few tips to help you teach your child about their emotions:
- Be open and honest about your feelings in your child or teen’s presence. It’s important for your children to see you as a healthy, active adult who appropriately expresses their feelings.
- How you manage your own feelings provides your young child’s helpful lesson in how to express their feelings.
- Modelling is one of the most powerful forms of teaching behaviours to children.
child learning about feelings
And as I often reference for the young people I coach… ‘Behaviour mirrors Behaviour’
- Show respect. Verbally express your feelings in ways that are helpful and that show respect for others. When you and your spouse appropriately talk about your emotions and share them with each other, kids learn how to do it just by observing.
- Use “I” statements followed by “feeling” words when you share your emotions in front of your children.
- For example, “I feel really annoyed when you play with your friends on the way home from school and get here 30 minutes late.”
- Be mindful of your tone of voice. If you use appropriate tones of voice when expressing feelings, your child will learn to use them as well. For example, instead of raising your voice when you’re upset, make an effort to keep your voice calm.
- Identify young children’s emotions with them. For very young children, two or three years old, it’s beneficial to label and clarify the child’s feelings in their presence. Especially at six years and under, children usually have little understanding of how their emotions function.
- For example, if a three-year-old gets angry and stamps their feet because they want sweets or a toy, get down to their eye level and say something like, “You’re angry at me right now because you can’t have sweets (or whatever it was).”
- Use names of feelings, like angry, mad, sad, happy, pleased, frustrated, and others. You convey a great deal of emotional learning when you teach a child about feelings by using the names of emotions.
- Sometimes, you may find it helpful to tell a young child, “It’s okay if you’re mad.” Giving the child permission to feel and express their feelings can be very validating for them, even if they don’t respond that way at the time.
Just make sure they do not attach reward to negative behaviour because they will undoubtedly repeat it.
TOP TIP: Separate the actions from their emotions and remember people are not their emotions as much as they are not the clothes they wear.
Are we, as adults our emotions? Of course not.
- On the other hand, if a young child gets frustrated or angry and throws a toy that could hurt someone, it’s advisable to state, “name of child (to get their attention) it’s NOT okay to throw your toy”
Then help them express their emotions or feelings with I feel example I offered so they can appropriately communicate with you and in turn you can offer some alternatives to the behaviour.
“No, don’t throw your toys. It’s not okay to throw your toys.”
Remember, it’s futile for adults to get frustrated or angry with young children who have a lot to learn about their emotions. Your patience will show them, by modelling, how to keep their cool, even in a frustrating situation.
Again, children learn from what they see others (AKA their Parents) doing and behaving.
- When your child manages their feelings appropriately, providing immediate positive reinforcement makes a big difference in how a child learns to express emotions.
Unresolved Emotions will often manifest into inappropriate behaviour.
Smile and say something like, “Luke, I like the way you sat quietly and got on with your homework even though I could tell you were finding it hard. You did a great job!”
When offering positive comments, state your child’s name and obtain eye contact with him. This will help reinforce the positive behaviour.
Also, you can include a reward right at the end of positive behaviour to help reinforce it, even if its just doing something fun such as playing a game or watching their favourite TV show together etc. Make sure it’s personality and age appropriate. Use your imagination.
OK, so there’s some ways to help your child understand and manage their feelings… remember as a Parent it’s your task to help them understand, by the way you communicate with them.
‘Communication is Nothing More Than the response you get from the other person’.
These things ONLY work when you apply and use them consistently.
Let me know how you get on….
Any other questions, please email me.
Thanks, Annette x
P.S. Does your child or teen have issues with their emotions or feelings? Book them in for a FREE Coaching session with Annette and help them navigate life with more certainty and success. Click here for info>