Understand Your Child’s Feelings

Just like you, your child is bound to experience strong feelings on occasion. When your child is young, his emotions are very close to the surface and may change rapidly; this can be very overwhelming for him. Some feelings that a young child may have difficulty handling include disappointment, frustration, and anger. Angry feelings range from mild irritation to intense rage. It is important to note that strong feelings often include physiological responses such as a rapid heart rate, muscle tension, or accelerated breathing. These reactions will add to your child’s perception of being overwhelmed or out o control.

Child's Feelings

Having feelings is a hallmark of being human. It is important that you allow and accept all of your child’s emotions. On the other hand, you do not have to allow or accept his actions. For example, you might say, “I understand that you are feeling angry, but I cannot permit you to bite your cousin. That is not safe.” “It is okay that feel tired and cranky, but it is not for you to throw your food across the room.”

Respect your child’s feelings and you will help him learn to express and control them appropriately. Avoid discounting your child’s emotions. What he is feeling is very real and important to him. You may recall a time when someone patted you on the head and told you, “Don’t worry your pretty little head” or “Don’t be silly; you should not be so upset, “More than likely, you found that a condescending or dismissive response would only flame your already heated emotions. Your child has the right to fee whatever she truly feels. Helping her express that feeling is where you play a part.

Photo not mine.