Toddlers and their emotions: Helping them understand
Through research on infants' emotions in the past few decades, most now know that babies and toddlers have deep feelings, where they can experience anger, fear, and more. What is difficult for young children though is how to appropriately deal with these overwhelming feelings when they do arise, according to PBS. A foundational component in helping your children learn about and cope with these emotions is to teach them to embrace them, not fear them. Here are a couple ways to do this:
Label these feelings: Though some of the major emotions are common to us, they can be overwhelming for toddlers and young children. Through helping your children identify their emotions, it makes it easier to then figure out how to address and communicate these feelings with others. One fun way to get your toddlers acknowledging these emotions is to teach them the "If you are happy and you know it" game and plugging in various emotions and actions that follow them. For example, you can sing "If you are sad and you know it, cry a tear," to assure them that being sad is normal and crying can be a healthy reaction to this emotion.
Teach them tools to manage emotions: You can do this in a variety of ways. From acting out different scenarios with stuffed animals to reading books about how other children manage their emotions, there are plenty of options to choose from. One way is to help guide their behavior through encouraging them to express their emotions when they arise in a healthy way, or brainstorm ways to fix a problem should intense feeling arise.
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