How to teach your child to express feelings
When we, as parents, are asked the question: Who is the most important person in our life? Most, if not all, say “its my children”.
And yet, why do I see a lot of parents spending much time on the cell or computer when they are at home, istead of being ‘with’ their child,experiencing her/his different moods, feelings and expressions?
Most prents just teach the basic emotions of happy, sad, angry. A child needs to be familiar and recognize the different feelings in herself/himself. If a child is not familiar with other emotions life frustration, being envious, embarrassed, timid, worried, nervous, disgusted, impatient, she won’t learn to recognize these feelings in herself/himself nor will she/ he understand that everyone experiences these different feelings sometimes.
Can you imagine what it would be like if the only expression of feelings your child knew is “You hurt my feelings!” She will be using this same expression whenever things do not go her way. Would it not be quite a relief if you, as the parent, knew exactly what was bothering your child, because she/he is able to express her/his feelings?
In the book,’You’re Not the Boss of Me’ by Betsy Brown Braun, she states, ‘ Model your healthy expression of feelings.’ Label and discuss your own feelings,positive or negative with your child. Tell our child what she/he can do to express her/his feelings, instead of always saying how she/he should not express her/his feelings like hitting, pinching, etc. Take every opportunity to give your child new language for describing her/his feelings.Tell her/him about the physical signs of feelings, like blushing . Help her/him to see these different facial expressions and learn from them. These will help her/him greatly in the future. Compare, use books, pictures. Then ask, ” what would you feel if…”- this way she/he can picture the situations and accompanying feelings better in her/his mind.
Most of all, honor her/his feelings- no matter how invaluable it may seem to you. Because to her/him, these feelings are valid.