Teaching Emotions to Your Toddler
One of the most important tasks of parenting young children is giving them the skills to identify and express their feelings. As parents of toddlers, this is something we deal with every day. They have temper tantrums because they haven’t learned how to handle their emotions or even know yet what emotions are. We can help them to learn about their emotions and how to manage them by putting a name to the emotions that we see other people displaying. If you see someone smiling tell your toddler that they are smiling, they must be feeling happy. Do the same for the other expressions you see. When they are upset, or happy or sad label that emotion. Tell them you are sad because…..
Sing songs such as “When You’re Happy and You Know It,” with them. This helps them to understand and identify their feelings. Another great activity when you are brushing their teeth or washing their face is to make faces in the mirror, showing them the different emotions and faces.
We know that reading together is one of the best ways to encourage appropriate behavior and teach new skills, so read your child books about emotions or point out how characters are feeling as read to them. There are lots of great books out there, go and visit your library.