Teaching Emotions

Importance of teaching our kids how to deal with emotions

The past few weeks have been a little bit of a whirlwind!

Let me take that back...I meant months! Christmas flew by. New Years came and went. Ms. Ashley finally welcomed her beautiful baby boy, Maxwell, into the world! We somehow managed to fit Valentine’s Day in there and suddenly - here we are. March is already knocking on the door. I’m sure many of you are feeling this as well. It’s that time of year when things can get very busy and we tend to focus on our long lists of to-dos.

That being said - I feel like we need to recap! At the Learning Cottage this past week, we had a blast celebrating Valentine’s Day, decorating shoeboxes, and creating lots of love themed arts and crafts. We also talked to our students about feelings...and what it means to express feelings. This is often a topic that pushed aside in today’s fast-paced world where we are constantly focused on goals, achieving more, etc.

Recently, Sarah Cairoli of Demand Media, wrote a great article about teaching young ones about feelings.

She points out a few very important highlights.

  • Identifying Feelings: Helping young ones learn how feelings actually impact the body and how feelings actually feel. I.e. When you feel happy, your body is calm and muscles are relaxed...when angry, muscles tense and breathing increases.

  • Handling Feelings: Once feelings are recognized, children must be taught how to properly deal with those emotions. Dealing with anger is a very important skill for young ones to learn.

  • Fun Ways to Learn About Feelings: Acting out scenarios in a fun way (such as with puppets) is a great way to help children understand how their reactions impact others.

  • Reassuring Your Child: Encourage little ones to express themselves. Be sure to tell your child that it’s OKAY to feel angry, sad, frustrated, etc. Kids that talk about their feelings are less likely to express those same feelings using problem behavior.

It’s not a surprise that society discourages emotional honesty. In many ways, the world teaches us to ignore, repress, deny and lie about our true feelings. Because this can be a tough topic, especially as little ones enter into kindergarten, we took time to explore emotional awareness, how to deal with emotions and how to express emotions in productive ways that are not hurtful to others.

The great artist Paul Cezanne once said, “Genius is the ability to renew one's emotions in daily experience.” These words are so very true and apply to all of us! Check out the idea below for a fun way to help little ones learn how to express emotions in a creative way.

Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this brief update...I felt like an update was needed. We appreciate all of our wonderful families very much! If you have additional ideas and ways to help young ones understand emotions, please post in the comments below. Of course, we appreciate the FB shares too. Thanks again.