Why is teaching kids about feelings so important?
For a small child, big feelings can feel scary, strange and simply overwhelming. Making space for your child’s strong emotions and validating their experience allows your child to develop a healthy acceptance of their emotions and feelings.
We think and please let us know what you think, but the first step in coping with emotions is being able to identify them in the first place. When you familiarise your child with a wide vocabulary of emotion language, they are better able to pinpoint what it is they are experiencing. Knowing what are why you are feeling this emotion is a vital building block in growing.
Once a child develops the skills to identify their emotions, they can begin to develop self-awareness around what calms and soothes them. This is a process of trial and error where you can come alongside your child to help them observe and identify what seems to lower their physical stress.
Learning about emotions helps parents too!
It is easy to encourage a child’s suppression of feelings through statements such as “stop crying, it isn’t that big of a deal” to whatever just happened. Your well-meaning attempt to teach your child reason will be lost on a developing brain that is being flooded with stress. What’s the takeaway? Your child’s and your own brain can’t learn while in a heightened state of emotion. When we allow the feeling to come and go, everybody wins.
Successfully working through emotions is the cornerstone of good mental well being.
If expressing our ourselves becomes routine, we are less likely to engage in negative coping patterns which can and dose lead the way to anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns.
Just as with adults, it is not uncommon for a child’s unresolved feelings to manifest physically through bodily symptoms such as headaches, stomach-aches, ulcers, high blood pressure the list goes on.
So if we’re being honest, many parents are still trying to figure out how to take care of themselves emotionally, due to having a weak framework of emotional acceptance as a child. Starting early with your child gives them a leg up on long-term emotional well-being.
Please let me know what you think and what needs to be added we all have different ways of teaching, coping and learning.
Hope you have enjoyed reading this and are able to take something away from it.
John from Just Jigsaws