Parenting: Encouraging Your Kids to Express Their Emotions

parentingages and stages

Feelings are meant to be shared and emotions are meant to be recognized. Children are in the process of learning how to express those feelings and each child does so differently. The important thing is that they do and that they are heard.

two kids smiling

At a recent Mom It Forward Twitter #gno party, sponsored by Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood from PBS Kids, Tweeters shared ways they help their kids express their feelings.

5 Ways to Help Your Kids Express Their Emotions

  • Create a safe place. Kids should feel comfortable expressing their emotions. “I really try to create a trusting and safe home,” said @TCreativeBlogs. “No quick judgments with my son’s questions.”  @jylmomIF said, “They need a safe haven, a place where they feel loved.”
  • Find things to get them talking. “Books!” suggested @ThatsITMommy. “I love books to get kids talking.”  Encourage discussions in which your kids can tell you about things that interest them or things they are currently involved in.
  • Ask lots of questions. Take time to talk with your kids and understand what is bothering them or what they like about a particular situation. “We use board games,” said @LaraEllieG. “Like say ___ when you fall on a red space.”
  • Use music. “Kids respond well to music,” said @couponmacey. Many moms said they use music to express their feelings. @marilola33 suggested dancing, singing, and acting. Music can be used to express any feeling and especially used to change the current mood. “We dance to get happy,” said @Greeblemonkey. “We also make up new lyrics to popular songs.”
  • Use art. @ImaginationSoup encouraged art therapy as a way for kids to express their feelings. “I like to ask kids to draw when they’re feeling upset.”

Take time to get to know your kids so they will feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with you. Remember that all kids express themselves differently, recognize the best way to interact and comfort each of your children.

How do you encourage your children to express their feelings?

Feature image courtesy of Flickr.

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Cambria VandeMerwe

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