Teaching your kids about their emotions and how to properly handle them is no doubt one of the more frustrating aspects of parenting!
When your child becomes upset, you can’t process with them. This is a mistake that a lot of parents, (including myself) make. You may try to explain to them why they shouldn’t feel a certain way, tell them to stop, try to get them to calm down, or rationalize with them.
The problem is when a kid becomes very upset, the part of the brain that can rationalize is not working. You have to wait until they have finished crying or being mad to talk to their feelings.
Even then it can be hard because most little kids don’t understand enough about their feelings, or they may not want to talk about them, (some kids get shy when they have to talk about tough stuff like emotions).
That’s not to say you should never talk to them, of course you should. But there’s one really effective way to teach kids about emotions, (and a lot of other things!).
Read to them!
Think about it. When you’re reading to your kids, both of you are in a relaxed state and your child is more likely to open up and discuss things happening in the story.
Reading with your kids is a great opportunity to talk about how the character is feeling, how they handled their feelings, and then open up the discussion to include your child.
- You can both talk about times you were feeling a certain way and how you can handle those feelings in the future.
- You can talk about how it’s normal and good to express your feelings, but that they need to be expressed in a healthy way.
- You can discuss what emotions are, (start naming them) and how your child’s body reacts to the feeling, (heart beats fast, stomach hurts, feels cold or hot, etc.).
- Ask them to act out what the emotion is in the book, (what does angry, sad, scared, etc., look like?)
Related: How To Help Your Child Handle Anger
Reading children’s books to teach kids about emotions is the perfect chance to help them learn how to handle them appropriately. This also helps your child to recall what you talked about more easily as well.
When you ask your child if they remember what Johnny did to help not feel so angry in a particular story, they are more likely to remember that versus asking if they remember that one time we talked about what you do when you’re angry.
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(Does your child enjoy listening to stories on tape? You can get a 30 day FREE trial of audible and they have a bunch of children’s books!)
Best Children’s Books To Teach Kids About Emotions
These children’s books to teach kids about emotions can help open the discussion up about their feelings. Teaching them about emotions and how to handle them appropriately is best done in a relaxed setting when both of you are calm. Not only are you teaching them but this is also a wonderful opportunity to bond with your child!