Tips for Parents on How to Talk to Young Children About Emotions
Emotions are often a subject that is either avoided by parents because they don’t know how to bring it up, or it is simply forgotten in the midst of extremely busy schedules.
The below tips are by emotional intelligence expert, Rosie Linder:
- Make it comfortable and fun. It’s not easy to get your toddler to sit down and even harder to talk about feelings and empathy. Try to make it engaging and playful, by for instance playing a game outside, using different tools like apps or simply use crayons and draw your thoughts and feelings. That way it’s easier to explore your children’s innermost thoughts.
- Example: Start by discussing how to express different emotions; Happiness, Anger, Greed, Fear. Draw the feelings together on different pieces of paper. If you’re feeling creative you can even create a Feelings Tree.
- Make sure not to judge. All emotions are allowed when you’re discussing different scenarios or issues your children have experienced. For instance, they might have gotten into a fight over a toy and accidentally hit one another. Now this behavior is obviously not ok, but it’s ok to be angry. It’s a matter of how we can control and express our feelings.
- No right or wrong. We can make different choices depending on our mood or how we feel. Neither is wrong but it’s important to show the consequences of one’s choices.
- Confirm your child’s emotions. This is good to keep in mind in any situation. For instance, when your child is angry, sad or afraid it helps if you say “I can see that you are angry and that’s ok. But it’s not ok to throw your toys at your sister/brother.”
Talking to children about their emotions and helping them build up their ability to be emotional intelligent has proven to reduce bullying, live happier lives, improve test scores, and create greater success later in life through their jobs and personal lives.
ABOUT ROSIE LINDER
Rosie Linder is the founder of Peppy Pals, an award-winning EdTech platform developing apps and e-books that teach children about empathy, emotions and problem solving skills. As a mother of two based in Sweden, Linder recognized the need for children to be taught emotional skills that help them better understand their emotions and ways that parents can emotionally connect with their children in playful ways. As a result, Peppy Pals was created and quickly gained success with children, parents and teachers in Sweden. Today, Peppy Pals is available worldwide, including the U.S. Linder is also an economist from the University of Stockholm and winner of several entrepreneurship awards in Sweden. To learn more about Linder and Peppy Pals, please visit. www.peppypals.com.