Talk about emotions regularly
Experiencing an emotion that they don’t understand can be scary for a child! Take the time to talk through what your toddler or preschooler is feeling and let them know they are safe to share the experience with you. As adults, we have the opportunity to also share the emotions we experience with our children by talking through what we are feeling and inviting them to help us process. In an environment where emotions are talked about regularly and conversationally we give children the power to feel in control and understood in what they are feeling.
When we see children correctly expressing what they are feeling we should be sure to point it out and let them know we appreciate it. Using phrases such as “thanks for telling me how you feel, that helps me understand,” let children know that the adults in their life want to help them be succesful and will encourage them to continue working hard at expressing what they feel.