Feelings. They’re often tough to deal with, even for us adults. For kids, it’s an even bigger challenge. Psychotherapist and parent educator, Katie Hurley, recently wrote about feelings in the Expert Tips and Advice column.
In a piece she penned about avoiding meltdowns, Hurley offered this, “Many children simply don’t know how to make the connection between what they feel and the emotions they display.”
And that makes sense, doesn’t it? Kids don’t have the language to describe what they’re feeling so they rely on nonverbal cues (think screaming, crying, etc). They also lack experience dealing with big feelings. So they may not even know what they’re feeling. It has to be frustrating!
One way to help our kids identify and express their feelings is with a feelings faces chart. A feelings faces chart shows faces in different states of emotion. It can help children explain, and we parents understand, just how they feel when they can’t find the words.
What You’ll Need
Crayons, colored pencils, or markers
- Help your child brainstorm a list of feelings. Write them down on a sheet of paper.
- Draw a set of circles on the page.
- Have your child draw a face that expresses each feeling.
- Underneath each face, write the feeling that describes it.
How to Use the Chart
Place the chart in a place your child will see it frequently, say in their room or common area.
Have your child use the chart to describe how they are feeling.
You can also use it to play a game of feelings charades. Take turns with your child choosing and emotion from the board (without telling each other which one you picked) and acting it out. Correctly guess all the emotions and you both win!