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.

2Quiz: Let’s check in

Why is it important for children to understand the facial expressions associated with different feelings?
To empathise with others
To make more friends
To make different faces infant of others
To feel less sad



Which of the following is the most effective way to help engage a child in identifying feelings through facial expressions?
Discussing about people in emotional situations on TV together with the child
Talking to the child about how he or she is feeling
Asking the child to recall his or her most memorable experience for the day
Talking to the child about how the tone of voice can indicate different feelings



When children are competent in identifying feelings through facial expressions, what is one positive outcome that they are most likely to achieve?
Healthier lives
Higher attention span
Stronger financial security
Higher academic performance



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  • Goodfellow, S., & Nowicki Jr, S. (2009). Social adjustment, academic adjustment, and the ability to identify emotion in facial expressions of 7-year-old children. The Journal of genetic psychology, 170(3), 234-243.
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  • https://www.parentingscience.com/facial-expressions-for-kids.html