A healthy way for children to express their feelings is by talking about them and why they feel that way.

Not only does it make the child feel better when saying it out, it also allows the child to practice self-control and not act out the feelings on impulse. Sharing their feelings with others helps the child seek appropriate support from adults.

Moreover, it can be used to help others empathise with the child, especially those who may have contributed to how the child feels; and this practice may prevent future occurrences of the child feeling that way.

Children are at the stage where they are exploring the world, and will encounter an array of new experiences.

They start off not knowing how to deal with the emotions attached to these new experiences.

Hence, it is crucial for them to be equipped with the ability to tell others how they feel, instead of keeping their feelings to themselves.

For example, if a child is extremely anxious after seeing a big spider, but does not know how to tell others how he feels or is not able to self-regulate his emotions, he may end up withholding his feelings inside, and these unattended feelings may escalate into behaviours like sudden outbursts.

This could be avoided if the child was able to tell others how he felt at that immediate moment, and a teacher or parent could comfort him immediately and tell him that it is okay to feel that way.

Quiz: Let’s check in

What should an adult do when a child shares his feelings?
Tell the child to stop feeling that way
Give the child some activities to keep him or her occupied
Tell the child that the feelings will go away after a while
Acknowledge the feelings, comfort the child if necessary, and tell the child that it is normal to feel that way

Correct!

Wrong!

What happens to anxious children when they do not tell others about their feelings?
They withhold their feelings and express them appropriately later on
They withhold their feelings and may become either withdrawn or show outbursts
hey expect the people around them to read their body language and empathise with them
All of the above

Correct!

Wrong!

Why is it important for children to learn how to tell others how they feel?
To help build up anxious feelings inside them
To engage in more conversations with people
To let others sympathise with them
To allow adults to support them with care

Correct!

Wrong!

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Part 5 – Self Awareness for Parents

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References

  • https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/talk-feelings.html