Helping Children Express Their Feelings

In many ways, young kids and adults share similar emotional experiences. Children feel emotions, including embarrassment, nervousness, happiness, sadness, frustration, and anger. But they often lack the vocabulary to describe such states. Instead, they may act in ways that aren’t always suitable to show how they feel.

Preschoolers often lack the emotional maturity and cognitive development to identify and articulate their feelings accurately. Hitting and biting are common ways that young kids express their anger.

They sometimes have trouble settling down at the end of an active day. This can be very frustrating for caregivers and parents, but it’s a great chance for kids to learn how to identify and talk about their emotions.

Kids who can’t communicate their emotions to you get even more agitated. The first step is working with your child to identify their feelings and understand what triggers them. Families can begin teaching their children to express their feelings through words as early as 18 months of age.

It is the responsibility of all people who deal with or take care of children to encourage them to express their feelings. As their role model or coach, you may show them how to deal with various feelings, reactions to situations, and coping techniques.

You can also encourage them to practice speaking their views aloud.

How to help children to express their feelings

Pay attention to what your child wants:

Children frequently experience outsized tantrums that adults find challenging to deal with. Take a deep breath and try to laugh off the outburst. This is a perfectly typical developmental stage, and it’s great that your kid can finally let their feelings out.

Look into your child’s eyes if you want to know what they’re trying to tell you. You may learn a lot about what’s going on in a toddler’s head just by looking into their eyes.

Express your own feelings:

The best way to teach a child to communicate their emotions is to model such behavior. When introducing a “feeling” word, explain what you mean in terms they can grasp. Either “I feel very sad that Mommy’s gone away for a couple of days—I miss her” is a valid expression of emotion.

You’ve just given them insight into your innermost feelings and motivations. They should take advantage of this chance to improve their learning.

Just don’t go too far:

We want the perfect kids. Our family does not wish to teach our kids to put their own needs aside in favor of expressing their emotions. Try to address their problem positively by listening to their side of the argument.

After that, let them weep for a while if they need to. Then end the conversation; there’s no need to let the issue fester for more than a few minutes. (Except in cases of extreme stress or trauma)

Acknowledge their emotions and give names to them:

When your children are angry or upset, it’s a wonderful opportunity to step in and help them put a name to their emotions. A game of “identify that face” could be fun. These games are a great and entertaining way to teach children about different feelings.

So, people can learn to understand others by being aware of their own feelings and the feelings of others.

When they do it right, reward them:

Strengthen your child’s positive behavior when you see them expressing themselves appropriately. They are more likely to repeat an activity if it is applauded, so be sure to do so.

Other helpful tips include:

Don’t try to stifle their emotions:

I can’t stress the significance of this enough. We don’t want to make them think we do not value their emotions. Sayings like “The whining should stop; there’s always something wrong with you” or “Do not you dare lose your anger with me, young guy” should be avoided.

A child will only internalize this message and come to believe they are unlovable as a result. A lack of confidence and many other issues will result from this.

Exercise sympathetic listening:

A key component of effective listening is conveying to the other person that you have considered their feelings and listened to what they have to say. Whether it’s “I see you seem unhappy. What’s the reason for your sadness? People want to know what’s wrong when they see us upset.

By showing interest in their predicament and offering assistance, you demonstrate empathy. This way of listening is much better for the child than yelling at them or telling them “we’ll talk about it later.”

Give alternate ways to vent fury:

While it’s natural to feel angry sometimes, you shouldn’t let it fester and be directed at other people. You may help your children, particularly your teens, deal with their anger. You can encourage them to engage in physical activities like swimming, martial arts, jogging, and so on.

All of these methods of venting frustration are healthy options for everyone.

Adult’s role in helping kids express their feelings

All adults who interact with children have a responsibility to help them feel comfortable discussing their feelings. By being a role model and coach, you can show kids how to handle tough situations, deal with different feelings, and say what they’re thinking out loud. Consider the following as a role model.

  • Maintain healthy and fulfilling relationships with other people.
  • Benefit from robust emotional and psychological health and well-being (including a decreased risk of nervousness).
  • Try as much as possible to succeed academically and professionally.
  • Behave properly
  • Be understanding and encourage those around you.

Allowing kids to speak their minds demonstrates your concern for them and willingness to listen to what they have to say. They have confidence in you because they know you will hear them out without discounting or disregarding their feelings.


Teaching your child to talk about how they feel is a skill that may be developed with time and effort. Promote it by setting a good example, and keep your cool and optimism intact.

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