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How to teach kids to recognise their emotions

Emotions are probably one of the most important parts of being human. Therefore it is important that your child begins to recognize their emotions as soon as possible. This will allow them to convey what they are feeling and hopefully seek help if it is required. There are a number of ways in which you can assist your child in this process.

1.      Use Picture books as a way of exploring emotions. In this case you will want to use ones where the facial features on the characters clearly indicate some sort of emotion. Talk to your child about these various emotions when you work through the book.

2.      You could always play a game called ‘charades’. For this game you will want to write down various emotions on slips of paper and put them into a hat. The child can then draw an emotion and act it out without speaking, people will then have to guess what emotion is being acted out. This is perfect for helping someone recognize emotions.

3.      Tell the child how they are feeling if you can see that they have an emotion that is clearly on display. For example, if you can see that they are angry or sad. This will allow them to build up vocabulary which will enable them to label their emotions.

4.      You may want to role-play with the child. This works great in a classroom environment; one child could act as a bully and the other as a victim. After ask the entire class how they would feel if they were placed in a similar situation.

5.      Talk to the child about what sort of emotions that they are displaying through their body language. Most children are unaware that they carry out body language, and thus it is important that you point it out to them.

6.      When a child is angry they should realise that another emotion can before them being angry. You can then teach them to establish what emotion that way. This enables them to make it much easier to deal with their emotions in the future.

7.      It is important to teach a child empathy. For example, if they are involved in a difficult situation, ask them how the other person might be feeling. This will make it much easier for them to understand emotions.

8.      Ask a child a situation where they experienced an emotion. Then ask them to draw a picture about how their face may have looked in this situation. This will enable you to see how they view various types of emotions, again, in a classroom environment this works very well. After all, every child displays emotion in different ways, and this allows you to share pictures and children will get a much more rounded idea.

9.      Ask the child to write a story with illustrations about certain emotion types. They can then incorporate the vocabulary that they know about that particular emotion into the story.

10.  Ask a child which emotions they feel often. This will enable the child to come up with new ways in which to tackle a situation. Overtime this will give new ideas on how conflicts and emotions can be dealt with.

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