Teaching your child emotional language
Help your child to become a detective when it comes to understanding their emotions, take one word a month or one word a week and work through this specific emotion with your child. For example, frustration.
Dive into what this word means, when they experience this emotion and how it makes them feel. Frustration arises when things don’t go your way.
Together with your child, close your eyes and ask your child to describe what colour this emotion looks like and what shape this emotion looks like.
Keeping your eyes closed and imagining this emotion, ask your child where in their bodies they feel this emotion. Does their chest feel tight or does their stomach turn into knots? Once they know where in the body they feel this emotion, they can immediately recognise their emotions when they feel these feelings arise.
Help your child to learn how to react to these emotions. Make a poster with all the different strategies of how to handle these emotions and what to do when they begin to feel this way. For example, take a deep breath, or hit a pillow or play your favourite song.
When you see these emotions building up inside your child you can help them and show them the poster of how they are feeling and what they can do to work through the way they are feeling.
Explain to your child they everybody feels frustrated or angry or sad at some point. Validate your child’s feelings and give them an example of when you’ve felt frustrated or angry and what you did about it to get over it. Help them to understand that no feeling is good and no feeling is bad, it is how we handle these big emotions that counts.