boy looking sad and alone

Our feelings can change quickly and sometimes the people around us are not ready/prepared for that change. It can be a shock when someone at home snaps after being happy all morning. They seemed happy before and we don’t know why they are snapping now. Was it something that somebody did or has something else happened to spoil their mood? That’s why we need to talk to each other and be helping children to express feelings so we can avoid upset and misunderstanding and talk about those feelings.

Helping Children Express Feelings

Some children aren’t very good at sharing their feelings but adults need to help them to open up and get things off their chest. It’s much better than bottling them up inside as small negative feelings can turn into bigger ones. Try these methods to encourage children to open up:

  • Talk about their feelings

If children are able to talk about their feelings, we are able to offer them understanding, advice and empathy. This in turn, will help them to feel better about themselves. Encourage them to tell you how they feel and be sure to listen when they do so they’ll be encouraged to keep talking and not hiding their feelings from parents.

  • Notice their change in body language and temperament and start a conversation about it

Do they avoid certain subjects or activities? Could they be triggering negative feelings? If you notice a change at certain times/doing certain things, ask about it. Be honest, say you have noticed it and try to talk about it.

  • Ask children outright how they feel and suggest some feelings if they don’t know

We experience new emotions as we grow, particularly during puberty. Some children don’t quite understand or can put words to these new feelings. You could talk about something you felt as a child in a similar situation or use others as an example. Let them know it’s normal to feel confused sometimes.

If our children share and express feelings then we can help and be sympathetic to them. We can even change a situation, they are unhappy about. once we know what our children are feeling. Let’s help our children be confident about sharing their feelings and support them. Be open to what they say and try and make them part of a ‘normal’ conversation with them.