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Cyber-Safety
Taking A Stand
Loneliness
Recess Troubles
Ratting vs. Reporting
Staying Safe On The Way Home
Accepting Differences
Respect and Kindness
Feelings
The New School Year

Feelings

Feelings are often difficult for children to describe, especially for our sons. It is our responsibility to help them, from a very young age, to label and deal with their feelings age appropriately.

Although we might have grown up in a family that didn’t share or deal with feelings, we know that it is important to deal with feelings in the open. As adults, we can label our feelings and vocalize how we will deal with the negative feelings we are experiencing. We can also name our positive feelings which give our children a broader range of “feeling” words from which to choose.

 1. Help young children label their feelings. Suggest a feeling to them by saying, “I think you might be feeling (sad, disappointed) because I can’t read with you right now. Am I right or are you feeling something else?” When you don’t try to tell your children how they feel, you are honouring their feelings, while at the same time expanding the ways they can describe their many feelings. Label your own feelings as well. “I’m feeling calm and peaceful listening to this music with you.” Or “I feel pleased that we put that difficult puzzle together.”
 2. As your children get older, you might want to ask them how they are feeling. Try not to put words into their mouths by pre-identifying feelings you see but rather label the feeling in another way. If your child says they are “mad”, tell them you understand how they must be angry and perhaps they are also feeling disappointed at missing the game or sadness at a friend moving away. They might tell you they are just mad but by giving a range of emotions around a particular event, children will begin to develop a repertoire of expressions to help them better identify and label their feelings.
 3. Look through magazines, newspapers and books. Have children label the emotions they see on the faces of the people in the pictures. Create a collage of feelings. Each time you find a new emotion, cut it out, label it, and add it to the collage.
 4. Books examine feelings from every angle. Humour is often a great way to open up a conversation about a difficult feeling. Ask your librarian to help you find terrific picture books like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst or the beginning chapter book series by Barbara Park entitled Junie B. Jones. Children will enjoy reading about Alexander’s terrible day or Junie’s determined and somewhat obnoxious behaviour that often gets her into trouble. You can then help your children make connections to their own lives and the times they’ve acted and felt the same way as the character.

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