Emotions are not only communicated through words, but are often displayed through facial expressions and body postures.
When children are more competent in relating certain facial expressions and body postures with specific emotions, they tend to be more aware of how others are feeling.
How does this benefit your child?
This creates more opportunities for them to empathise with others and enhance their self-awareness, which is essential for encouraging prosocial behaviour.
For example, a child who can identify and relate to the sad or worrying feelings of another child who is frowning, is able to comfort that child instead of disturbing him or her.
There are more positive outcomes in children who are more competent in understanding how others feel through body language.
Research has shown that children who are better at identifying emotions through facial expressions tend to achieve higher academic performance and are more popular in school.
On the other hand, children who perform poorly in identifying emotions through facial expressions were found with higher risk of having peer problems, learning difficulties, hyperactivity and anxiety issues. As such, it is crucial for children to understand the different social cues related to specific emotions.