Children like adults experience all kinds of emotions from a very young age. However, the way they express it is different. Teaching Emotional Expression is very important for kids today!

For example, a toddler knows only to cry, laugh and throw tantrums because these are the only emotions he/she can express.

An elder kid may experience feelings such as happiness, sadness, deprivation, selfishness, pride, jealousy and many more.

Do children identify these emotions rightly?

Do they express them timely?

However! Keeping emotions to themselves, even if it is happiness, is not healthy.

It is thus the responsibility of the parents to teach kids to handle their emotions. Here are few ways to help your kids to control their emotions.

Keeping Them In A Bubble Shells Their Emotional Expression

Emotional Expression
Teaching emotional Expression To Your Children

As a parent, you may want to protect your kid from all kinds of harm, including emotional ones.

However, too much protection is not good for the kid in the long run. The world is not as sweet as we show him and it will not be so when he needs to face it.

Instead of your kid suddenly having to face the harshness of the outside world, make sure you give him your idea of

How you felt the first time you went to school/boarding

How you felt when you had to travel in a train-alone

Your idea of bullies and how you would behave with such people

These are examples of topics you need to speak to you child when you chat-up over a tea or snack time.

In doing this you will subtly prepare  your kid to some situations that in fact would not arise physically, but, when it arise in any other form your kid will know what to do(at least how you did, and might follow the same).

Empathize With Them

Emotional Expression
Teaching Emotional Expression To Children

When you child is upset, empathize with them by putting yourself in their position.

Say things like, “I know you really want that toy but I am sorry” or “I know how hard you worked for your swimming competition”.

Or “ I know you are feeling upset about not coming first. But it does not matter, you swam really well and I am sure you will come first next time”.

In doing so, you help your child deal with emotions in a controlled manner.

Also, knowing that you understand how they feel creates a special bond and helps them express their emotions to you.

You need to give your child a comfort zone to speak, keeping him always in cloud nine and letting him speak all that he wants is not good.

The same way controlling your child too much and not letting him speak is also a sin, which will hurt him in more as he rows.

Children have to be guided to speak the right things at the right places

Be Consistent

Children learn from their parents, you are their first role model. So be consistent with your emotions and in dealing with their emotions.

Let them know that it is ok to cry or be angry and show them how to express them the right way.

Punishing, grounding or time outs – be it any form of discipline, be consistent.

It is important for you to be patient too.

It may sometimes include looking away when they are purposely creating a scene or ignoring their tantrums.

Try to reason them for their behavior – you don’t always need to ask them, you can just observe and learn.

Accept Your Child’s Behavior

Not all children at all times become difficult. Accept your child’s behavior even though it is new.

Your child is exposed to the outside world through school, social interaction and media.

Accept their tantrums and behaviors as you would their happiness.

After an episode of crying or throwing things, sit with them and discuss their feelings.

Teach them that it is not ok to throw things or hit their sibling. Make sure that your child knows you are not okay with such behaviors.

Teach them the technique of counting till 10 or giving themselves timeouts or going out of the room.

Encourage Your Kid

Encourage your kids for their good behavior through words of encouragement, a pat on the back or a star.

The one who collects the most number of stars gets a gift.

Sometimes kids like to be treated like adults, try talking to them about how one should behave in public, when guests come over, at parties etc.

Giving a gift after collecting so many stars motivates them to be conscious of their behavior and continue the same.

Here are some things you seriously should not be doing if you want your child to be emotionally right

Do Not Make Fun of Them

Children are very sensitive, they sometimes do not tend to express them, yet they remember.

You as a parent should never resort to making fun of the kid, it may look light to you, but may scar the child.

Some children tend to become introverts because of being made fun of. They will not try to talk things out, scared that they will be laughed at.

This is the worst scenario you would be setting to your child’s future communication skills.

Do Not Scold Them In Public

Okay, your child has acted funny in a public place and you are feeling really irritated – follow the counting 10 rule.

Tell him to stop the act and leave it at it.

When you return home, take a quiet walk, talk to him telling how bad you felt.

What will happen if you scold your child in public?

He will lose confidence to speak in public

He will reduce the frequency of expressing his feelings

He will start cocooning his feelings

He may fall prey to bad influences as he grows.

Tell us how the steps you take to make your children emotionally expressive…

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18 comments on “7 Things You Must Heed To When Teaching Emotional Expression To Kids”

  1. I have the same problem Jini I have never had any restrictions in expressing what ever I felt, and so I most often create a sort of unfriendly situation with most people..

  2. Very informative post Maneka. I grew up in a very protected environment – it took me a long time to find my feet and understand how this world operates – and still, I sometimes struggle with it! Hope more parents become aware of this and don’t over shelter their kids.

  3. You are most welcome Janani! in fact controlling anger seems to be the most difficult task we as parents need to learn. Two toddlers would be really difficult to manage, when they decide to fight especially

  4. Thank you for this post Menaka! You have raised some very valid points. I am having hard time in implementing this with my twin todders rightnow. As kids of same age, they often get into fights and hurt each other. Insisting them that it is not right without losing my cool is becoming quite challenging. But I am trying to do my best to make them handle their emotions in the right way. Your tips will be very helpful for me in this mission 🙂

  5. This is such an helpful post, Menaka. I grew up in a very protected environment and it took me a long time to find myself.
    Hope more parents read this, and learn from it.

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