083: Three Ways to Help Your Kids Understand Their Feelings (And Why It Matters)

Understanding our own feelings is the work of childhood – but sometimes this important work is not completed when it should be, and that’s bad for so many reasons. Today we look at what can go wrong, and talk about 3 ways to help kids understand their own feelings!
This Just You and Me episode functions as the second of two chapter studies of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child.
Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/083 to listen and get access to key links, including to your FREE guide outlining the bonus fourth way to help our kids understand their own feelings!

When figuring out our own feelings is not resolved in childhood, kids go into adolescence and young adulthood without a true understanding of themselves and their place in the world. This can result in anxiety, depression, and unresolved anger which could be turned inward on themselves, or outward on others. Very bad.

Here are three ways to not let that happen:
1) Start off by naming their feelings for them, early and often. Over time you’ll notice they start to name their own feelings, and as they understand these emotions better they’ll use their words instead of lashing out or melting down. It does take time, but it’s a really worth the investment of our time!
2) Read some favorite books that help kids name feelings – here are four of our favorites:
Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberley and Anne Miranda
The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams and Megan Lloyd
Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus! by Mo Willems
(click there titles to go to the Amazon page for each; for my favorite secondhand book website, scroll to the end of these notes and click the Better World Books link, maybe you’ll get lucky and find a used copy)
3) Play feelings games:
Take turns making happy faces, sad or angry faces, frustrated, surprised… and then talk about what we can do when we experience each of those feelings for real.

Bonus 4) Download your free guide to making 5 different feelings books! Several of these were great fun to make when my boys were small, in addition to helping them understand their own feelings.

– Please note: in today’s’s episode I give a website address which is clunky and annoying to try to remember and type in. So, instead of putting you through that kind of torture, I’ve made it much easier for you to get this guide: just scroll to the bottom and click the picture. A little box will pop up, type your name and email in there, and the Feelings Books guide will win its way over to your inbox 🙂

To get the guide, click the picture below to sign up!

Key Links:
Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/080 to listen to the first chapter study from Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, about a favorite hack of mine to implement when you are at your wit’s end with your young child.

Click here or go to http://amzn.to/1WE8DOA to check out the Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics page at Amazon.com.

Click here or go to betterworldbooks.com to visit my favorite secondhand book-purchasing site on the web!

Click this picture to download the Guide to Making 5 Feelings Books: