The number one topic I covered in my practice as a children’s mental health therapist, was feelings identification. Many children these days do not have a good working knowledge of feelings and are often told that the tough emotions (sadness, anger, loneliness, etc.) are bad. Children are often told that crying is not ok, or that it’s not ok to be angry.
However, these feelings are normal and we should be teaching our children that it’s ok to feel these feelings. It’s what you do with the emotions that matters.
- It’s ok to be mad…it’s not ok to hit.
- It’s ok to be sad…it’s not ok to call someone a bad name.
I’ve been talking about emotions with J since birth by saying things like “oh, I see you’re sad”, “wow, you think that’s really frustrating!”, “I’m so sorry that you are sad”. I’m constantly reflecting his feelings back to him so that he can learn the name for the feeling he’s feeling.
Recently, I put together and emotion book for J to help show him what the different emotions look like. I found these emotions cards here.
J really likes this book, and we look at it a lot around here!
Excuse the blurry, cropped off picture. I just loved his facial expression too much to not include it!