“For Parents of Little Ones,” Friend, June 2018
Happy, sad, angry, excited—your child is experiencing a lot of feelings in that little body! Sometimes it can be tempting to sing, “No one likes a frowning face” and expect smiles all around. But young children need help understanding their feelings.
Draw or print faces that show different emotions. Tape them to craft sticks. Tell your child different scenarios and ask how he or she would feel. Your little one will love finding the right face. Try to go beyond just happy or sad—include emotions like nervous, angry, excited, or embarrassed.
Listen to music that inspires different emotions and dance along with what you hear. For example, try “Flight of the Bumblebee” for a busy feeling, William Tell Overture for excitement, or “Clair de lune” for peace.
Cut out a paper doll chain. Ask, “What color would you use for sad? Happy? Mad?” Have your child color each doll a different color. Then fold up the chain and explain, “Even when you feel lots of different things, you are still you! Are different feelings OK? Yes, they are!”
Look at picture books together. What emotions do the characters feel? How do they act? Talk about what your kids can do when they feel sad or mad, like stomping three times, scribbling on a paper, or saying a prayer for help.