Talking about emotions isn’t an easy thing to do, especially if the feelings are negative like sadness or anxiety. For children especially a lot of these feelings might be hard to understand and rationalize but if they don’t share them with an adult they might cause even more harm.
Therefore it is really important to get your child to express their emotions. Here are four ways to help them do this.
1. Take The Initiative
Sometimes children find it hard to discuss their emotions and in these cases it might be helpful if you take the initiative as an adult.
You can either directly say to the child that you’ve noticed they are feeling a bit blue and if there is something they would like to talk about with you, or be a bit indirect with your approach.
Make sure you talk in a calming environment and somewhere where the child will feel safe enough to talk to you. For example, discussing it in the car on your way back home from school or a hobby can be a good idea.
2. Teach About Emotions With Games
It can also be a good thing to teach your child about different emotions and how they are all normal, even if they don’t experience them at that moment. For example, you can talk about anger when the child is not feeling angry to explain how sometimes people get angry and what could help if the child ever experiences anger.
You could play different games where the child has to mimic an emotion and you have to guess what it is and vice versa. Parenting Counts reminds that teaching children to understand and name different emotions is really important to guarantee they don’t get overwhelmed by them.
3. Use TV-Shows
You can also use TV-shows to get your child talking about emotions. For example, there might have been an episode where his or her favorite character got really upset and you can ask if the child has ever experienced those feelings. This can be an easier way for them to talk and relate to the emotions they are feeling.
4. Use A Toy
Sometimes it might be hard for the child to admit something. For instance, if they feel guilty they often want to tell what has happened but at the same time the guilt is keeping it all hidden. In these cases it might make it easier to discus the emotions through a toy.
For example, using toy dolls as part of the emotional discussion can be very helpful. The child can talk about their own emotions as they are coming from the dolls and you can make the child feel better indirectly by consoling the doll.
A lot of modern dolls are also very human like which makes it even easier for the child to project their emotions. Take a look at A Girl For All Time shop for instance and buy a few dolls to help boost your child’s confidence and ability to talk.
Janine loves to work with children and he is constantly trying to find new ways to make children experience the looming adulthood in a positive manner. She is also a big fan of meditation and loves to spend time with her three teenage daughters.