Helping your children to express their feelings will prevent them from having mental and emotional exhaustion and frustration. These are some tips you can use to do so:
1. Speak to Them Without a Judging Tone
The most important factor in helping your children to express their feelings is to ensure that you will not judge or punish them for doing so. Therefore, you have to set an environment of trust before you even begin the journey of getting your children to express themselves. Let them know that you love them no matter how they feel and that feelings are normal for every person to have.
2. Prompt Them to Give Their Opinions
You can also encourage your children to express their feelings by prompting a conversation about them. For example, you can ask your children, “How did you feel when daddy clapped for you at the basketball game?” Later you could ask, “How did you feel when your best friend couldn’t go with you to the movies?” Encourage honest responses by showing warmth and acceptance after you initiate the prompts.
3. Try Using Conversation Cards
Conversation cards for kids are amazing tools that are well worth the investment. The cards show gorgeous illustrations with questions that will challenge your children to look inside themselves. An example of a question the cards may ask is, “What is your favorite way to feel calm?” This question will challenge your children to think about times when they may have been frustrated and talk about how they resolved the issue. It will help them to bring forth their strategies and even think of new ones if their other ones don’t work well.
4. Reward Them for Sharing
Implementing a reward system is another great way to get your children to express their feelings. You could give them a small incentive for being honest about their feelings. What you choose to offer depends on your resources and beliefs. You could give them a monetary prize, or you could treat them to their favorite ice cream treat. The goal is to get them to feel more comfortable with digging into their emotions and sharing them. The reward system works well in other areas and should be a great motivator for feelings sharing, as well.
5. Use Stories and Pictorial Examples
Some children may be confused about the different emotions. This is more likely to be the case with younger children than older ones. You can use pictorial examples to help explain the various emotions with children who struggle to understand them. Show them pictures of people smiling to express happiness. Show them pictures of people frowning to express disappointment or fuming to express frustration. You can also use examples of your own emotional changes to help your children understand how they change. Ask questions when you’re done with your explanations to ensure that your children grasp all the concepts.
Try these techniques to help your children express their feelings more frequently. Your entire family will benefit from doing so.