Emotions are complex mental states that are related to other facets of psychology and human behavior such as personality, mood, temperament, and disposition. Because of how complex and nuanced emotions are, they can be difficult to handle, especially for children.
Whether your child studies at the best international school in Manila or otherwise, you should be the first and most proactive teacher when it comes to your child’s emotions. If you are having difficulties, here are two useful tips that can help you.
Because children naturally lack experience when it comes to dealing with different emotional cues and situations, your child might misinterpret what specific emotion she is seeing from other people. This can negatively impact how your child empathizes and interacts with others.
To avoid these kinds of instances, you can try to demonstrate and explain to your child how she can identify specific emotions. One of the best ways of doing so is by observing and commenting on what you are seeing from her. By acknowledging and helping articulate her emotions for her in a nonjudgmental and accepting way, she can learn how to do it her own.
For example, if you see your child sporting a wide grin and cheerful attitude, you can tell her “you seem to be very happy today”. Maybe when your child is feeling down or is visibly upset, try confronting her and asking why she might feel that way. Although you are not directly addressing the physical signs, you are showing the proper response towards certain emotional cues. The more you do it, the more your child will understand how to read the signals on her own, thus helping her discern emotions better.
Complementing the first tip, another way you can make it easy for your child to grasp emotions is by teaching her the various types of emotions. Of course, this has to be proportional to your child’s age. For example, children ages 4-7 are better suited to learn the simplest of words such as happy, sad, angry, and scared. This sets up your child’s mind for deeper and more complex words as she grows up. Complex emotions such as disappointment, frustration, and elation can become easier to understand thanks to a good foundational understanding of basic emotions.
By building your child’s vocabulary from an early age, you are also enabling her to articulate and express her feelings more accurately. This makes it easier for your child to manage her emotions as she matures.
Open and direct communication is the most integral component of teaching your child about emotions. It not only benefits your child, but it also helps you become a better communicator. With these two simple tips, you can be confident that your child will develop her social skills and character in the best way possible.