Everyone has emotions but children need help learning the words for their emotions and how to handle them. Teaching children to notice emotions is one of the first steps in helping them develop coping skills. It’s good for a child’s mental health to understand and manage feelings. It also helps their decision-making process.
Having the skills to handle their strong emotions, controlling their behavior and making good choices is called emotion regulation. Emotion regulation is tied to:
- Academic achievement
- Ability to focus
- Higher social skills
- Improved resilience
Here are four ways to teach kids about emotions:
- Name them! Help kids learn to label their feelings by saying yours out loud. Check in on their feelings using our feelings meter by having them point to where they fall from green to red.
- Notice them. As kids grow in their understanding of feelings words, they can start to notice how emotions feel in their body.
- Express them appropriately. Praise children who are using feelings words and validate their feelings.
- Teach them how to handle big emotions. Sometimes children’s feelings can seem explosive. There are skills like deep breathing and meditation that you can work on with children to help them calm down.
It’s never too early or too late to start teaching about emotions. And these skills won’t just help them now but for years to come!