2 days ago
When you’re having a bad day, having someone who understands what you’re going through makes a world of difference. Having another person affirm and accept your feelings often gives one reassurance that “someone has got their back.” It can give children comfort and allow them to move beyond the feeling to figure out what next.
By acknowledging and saying aloud the feeling, we are also helping young children learn the emotional vocabulary associated with the emotion, the mood and the physical sensation they are feeling. Giving young children the emotional vocabulary to later use will set them up for social-emotional success and self-awareness. We all experience the entire RANGE of emotions. No need to make someone feel guilty or embarrassed about it. It is what makes us human.
By validating children’s emotions, we invite them to openly tackle the harder stuff--especially when the emotions are BIG, NEGATIVE or STRONG. It can be scary but by first saying something like, “You are really frustrated right now, it’s not easy!” We show we “see” and are right there with them. We are here to help and guide. Hold off on giving advice or asking a lot of questions. Just sit with the emotion and acknowledge its presence.
Some children get very emotional or even more upset if parents try to label their emotions, even just offering a hug or keeping discussions to small utterances like, “I understand” and a nod with direct eye contact can be just the invitation your child needs to start to calm down or to share more about what is upsetting to them. *
💭It always feels good to feel understood, consider boosting your child’s emotional vocabulary by commenting on the entire range of emotions. Try these simple communication tips and take note of your child’s reaction.