Everyone of all ages have feelings and it is important to be able to express and discuss what we are feeling in healthy ways. Talking about our feelings helps us to connect with those we care about. Being aware of our feelings and being able to discuss them can help us avoid or resolve conflicts more naturally and move through difficult feelings more effectively.
Signing Time Dictionary
Spend a few minutes a day reviewing the signs for feelings. Watch each video and practice the sign.
As parents we must understand our own emotions and be comfortable with discussing them. This is a skill that is not always taught. In the following articles we help you learn how to help your children.
In our Bully-Proof your Preschooler – Series we highlight the importance of teaching children empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and identify with another person’s feelings. It includes regulating one’s own emotions and is central to success in social relationships. Children who are empathic are less likely to use aggression.
How Do I Help My Child Identify and Express Emotions?
There has been plenty of research over the years trying to pin down a list of emotions. Most agree are all born with emotions, but there is no common consensus about which emotions we are born with verses which emotions we learn. Many studies conclude that almost everyone is capable of feeling six basic states of emotion: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise. In a study done at UC Berkley,and Dacher Keltner stated, “We found that 27 distinct dimensions, not six, were necessary to account for the way hundreds of people reliably reported feeling in response to each video.” The 27 emotions Keltner identified are: admiration, adoration, aesthetic appreciation, amusement, anger, anxiety, awe, awkwardness, boredom, calmness, confusion, craving, disgust, empathic pain, entrancement, excitement, fear, horror, interest, joy, nostalgia, relief, romance, sadness, satisfaction, sexual desire, surprise.
Teaching Active Listening to Your Child
With all of the distractions in our modern world, we have become a community of people who don’t know how to focus and listen to others. Active Listening is an important life skill that you can teach your child – and help yourself, too! Before you can teach your child active listening you need to understand what it is. Active listening is a technique of understanding the complete message being communicated through words, tones of the voice, and body language. Active listening requires that those participating in the conversation are not distracted. This is something we all need to work on. Distractions may be other people or things in the environment such as television, video games, computers, and electronic devices. As you are teaching your child active listening skills it may take discipline on your part to remove the distractions. Active listening requires all participates to use a combination of skills by acknowledging the individual speaking to you as well as validating their problems and feelings. Active listening is a life skill that will improve overall communications, trust, and relationships.