'It's okay to feel your feelings' written on a notebook on purple background.

Our feelings can change quickly and sometimes the people around us are not ready/prepared for that change. It can be a shock when your child snaps at you after being happy all morning. They seemed happy before and now they are snapping at you. Was it something that somebody did or has something happened to spoil their mood, and if so, what?

Parents need to enable their child to express what they are feeling so that they can help them.

Helping Children Express Feelings Can Be Done Easily

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, parents can 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 hide 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

Children experience new emotions as they 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 your children share and express feelings, then parents can be sympathetic to them. You can even change a situation they are unhappy about.Being Me And Loving It Cover Image - Naomi Richards - The Kids Coach



Let’s help 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, even if it can be a difficult subject to talk about.

For more help with feelings buy a copy of my parenting book, Being Me (And Loving It).