How to label your child’s emotions?
Suzy Reading, psychologist and author, states, “People who could label their feelings using rich vocabulary were found to be 40% less verbally and physically aggressive than those who had a tough time working out how they felt.”
Feelings are a significant part of human behaviour. It is a way to express as well as communicate. Various circumstances often lead to situations when it is hard to cope up with the emotions. This is entirely normal, and there are multiple ways to tackle the situation. While it is easier for adults to label emotions, it is difficult for children to do so.
But don’t worry as we will tell you how to label your child’s feelings through these activities –
Name The Emotion
The first way is to introduce your child with a ‘How Are You Feeling Today’ chart. The chart will be different for various ages, based on their emotional development. For a child between 4-5 years of age, four emotions will be enough. When it comes to 6-10-year-olds, pick a chart with words, which will help them to develop an emotional vocabulary. For children who already express their emotions well or have their own language, give them a blank chart and let them complete it in their own way.
Don’t ask them frequently but maybe thrice a day, ask your child to identify their emotions and express how they feel. Ask them the reason behind their emotion too. Also, share your feelings, so that they can learn from you. If your child is shy, encourage them to share two-three more emotions, as many times we have mixed feelings. This activity stretched throughout the day will help them to understand that emotions change over time and are not constant. Children’s emotions vary widely, and with time, it will develop. The fundamental point is to remind them that controlling emotions are is not in our hands but, responding to those can be well controlled.
Harness The Power Of Words
This easy-to-do home tactic is a great game to let your child express their emotions and feelings using various other senses and develop empathy towards others.
Ask your child to brainstorm a list of words that they generally hear about them or are used in the household to describe them. Generally, it will be a mixture of both positive and negative words. Then you and your other family members also do the same. Now, keep every card with the words written upside down. Then take a dice and let your child roll it. If a ‘4’ comes on the Tdice, let him/her express how it smells, tastes or feels when he is called that word. Repeat the same for you and other family members. This exercise is extremely valuable as it will show how your child is reflecting the power of words on others as well as themselves. This will help your child to recognise various emotions, and how every individual reacts to the same differently. Many times, when your child is in a crisis moment, this practice helps him/her to express through other senses than to explain in words.
Feeling In Body
We all know mental health and physical health are intertwined. And it is necessary to convey the same to your child. The sooner they learn to relate mental emotions to their physical feeling, the easier it becomes for them to cope up. If your child is excited, ask him/her to explain the emotions physically, and see what he/she tells you. This tactic will help you to identify his/her emotions better, and you can suggest ways to keep him/her calm and composed. Eventually, they will start understanding how physical activities can help them to resolve various emotions.
Labelling emotions are necessary to make those more manageable. With these strategies, your child will identify and explain feelings in their own, and with time, they will understand how to deal with them positively.
At CGR International, we practice various extracurricular activities and sessions to let the children express better and become emotionally healthy!