Recognizing & Understanding Sadness

How to Help Your Child

Try This at Home

  • Notice and Label. what you might say:

  1. " I'm feeling really sad that Grandma went home. Maybe ill call her."
  2. " It looks like you are sad. You have tears in your eyes and your head is down"
  3. " That little boy looks really sad. i wonder what might make him feel better?"


  • Read books about being sad. Talk about what the character is feeling and think of things that might help.


  • Share about times you were sad


  • Use your child's play to act out sad situations



Practice at School

Whether a child is sad because a parent left, a toy broke or fell down, there are many opportunities for them to learn what to do when someone feels sad. Teachers label the emotion for them (i.e. saying "You look sad") Give them a hug or a special object to help them feel better.

The Bottom Line

The way a child feels and behaves is closely related. Child who can manage their emotions are better prepared to control their behavior.