No wonder, our kids don't know how to express themselves. But have no fear, Super-dupper therapist mom is here (I know, that was slightly over-the-top, but you get the drift). We can help support healthy feeling expression when our little ones are developing. Let's start with the little ones:
- Explain the feeling by using words your child can easily understand. Try to use pictures, books, or videos to help get your point across. “Look at Little Red Riding Hood’s face; she is so scared when she sees the wolf in her Grandma’s bed!”. This helps your child link non-verbal cues (facial expressions) to feelings and circumstances.
- Teach your child the different ways we can deal with feelings. Let your child come up with ways she can deal with her feelings. Talk about positive and not so positive ways to express feelings. There are many strategies you can use to teach new ways to appropriately express feelings: This can be done using real-life examples and "teachable moments" of everyday life.
- Support your child to talk about feelings and practice her new strategies for expressing emotions appropriately every chance you get. For example, you can talk about feelings when you are playing a game, when you are riding in the car, or when you are eating dinner. There will be all kinds of things that happen every day that will be great opportunities for you to talk about feelings. The more often your child practices, the faster your child will learn.
A VERY VERY VERY important thing to keep in mind when working on this is that we CANNOT begin practicing this when our kid is having a meltdown! All you do is set yourself up for failure. We begin practicing when things are going good and we go from there. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks in the future.
Ready to get support with your child? Give us a call at 919-412-5685. We are here to help you. Most major insurances are accepted!