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Everyone Has Emotions Even Preschoolers

by Tania Cowling | August 9th, 2016 | Communication, Preschool

3-4-year-old-paintingIt’s a parent’s job to reassure your child that all of his/her feelings and emotions are valid. Create a sharing time during the day to help your preschooler talk about her feelings. Try to choose a quiet time each day when your youngster is settled and less distracted, perhaps during dinner or just before bedtime. A good way to start is by taking the lead and sharing some of the emotions you felt during the day. Remember that parents are role models in the eyes of children. Emphasize that it’s okay to have both positive and negative feelings.

Fear is an emotion that many preschoolers face. Being in control of fears is a reassuring feeling that boosts confidence and self-esteem. This isn’t always an easy task, but if your preschooler can put his/her fears into words and describe them to you, it helps them to regain control. One activity that helps young children who are having issues with fear is to let them draw or paint a picture of what is scary and encourage the child to talk about the drawing. Can he give the fear a description? A name? A sound? Together come up with strategies to comfort your child. The more familiar your preschooler becomes with fears and how to deal with them, the easier it will be to overcome this emotion.

Did you know that children find expressing their feelings and emotions using puppets or props easier to respond to adults? Hand puppets create a safe, make-believe zone where preschoolers can communicate strong feelings via dramatization. Sometimes it even helps if parents also put on a hand puppet and give advice and reassurance through the puppet’s voice to your child’s puppet. Other children like using a magic mirror or a magic cape as tools to share their feelings.

And, don’t forget about happy feelings and emotions, too. One of the best gifts you can give your child is laughter. A good belly laugh is a wonderful healer and stress reliever. Help your preschooler experience the sheer joy of happiness through laughter. Make funny faces at each other, sing silly songs, and tell each other goofy stories. What fun!

As my last parenting tip on expressing feelings, make sure your child feels emotionally safe as well as physically safe. It’s important to create an atmosphere of trust and sharing, so your preschooler feels comfortable about expressing her thoughts and worries without fear of ridicule or embarrassment. Make sure your child knows that you are willing to help her if she has a problem and so will other close friends, teachers, and relatives.

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