< BACK  | AT HOME • August 25, 2014
Emotional Intelligence for Kids
“Teaching our kids to feel their emotions and that emotions are ok are key life skills.”
We live in a society where adults have forgotten to feel. The rare occasion it does happen, there’s a lot of judgment around it – its ‘bad’ to feel angry or I ‘shouldn’t’ feel sad or ‘boys shouldn’t cry’ (gender bias emotions). As a result, we suppress the emotion where it sits stuck until a trigger re-appears in our universe to let it all out. So here’s my journey on teaching my son to identify his own emotions.
When my son is experiencing something, I help him ‘name’ it by asking him questions. ‘Are you happy or sad?’ and show him the difference with a facial expression (smiley face and sad face). If he states he’s sad, he has the option to talk about it or not. What I will do is allow him to feel it completely – this means he has the freedom to do what he wants with it. He may want to go to his room and sit alone for a while or he may choose to discuss it. The option is his entirely.
1) Help them ‘name’ the emotion by giving them a choice of facial expressions
2) Tell them its ok to feel it (no judgment or gender bias)
3) Allow them to express it fully (make them feel safe)
So here are some of the emotions my son can clearly identify at the age of 4:
- Expsychic ( known as ‘excited’ to adults/ its just too cute to correct)
Teaching our kids to feel their emotions and that emotions are ok are key life skills – one unfortunately not taught in schools. It is these very emotions that if unexpressed – creates baggage that weighs us down. To empower them to understand this as young as possible only gives them the keys to a greater life.
Go ahead, let them feel.
Be all that you are,
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