Teaching Feelings and Emotions
Teaching feelings and emotions in early childhood plays a crucial role in the development of young children. As children are growing they are experiencing the same emotions as adults; although they are unable to express what exactly those emotions are. Adults often prompt children to use their words when they are upset but they may not understand how to do that. They are many different ways you can teach children about feelings and emotions. For example, when you get home from work and your child comes running to give you a hug you can say, “Wow, someone is happy to see me” or “Someone is excited I am home”. Another example would be to point out the emotions of characters as you are reading books. Ask your child to look at the characters faces and explain what emotions might fit with the expressions on the characters face. A final example would be to praise your child when they are expressing their emotions and be specific. Saying things like “Thank you for telling me that it makes you sad that you cannot have that toy, that was very responsible.” When children are praised for doing the right thing they are more likely to repeat the behavior.
Here are some books that appropriately discuss all feelings for early childhood learners.
The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberley
The Feelings Book by Todd Parr
Feelings to Share from A-Z by Todd Snow