The first step is to acknowledge what they are feeling. Talk to them about their emotions and be empathetic towards how they are feeling. You can talk about what different emotions feel like in the body and help them to name those emotions using feelings charts or games. Validate their feelings, offer comfort, and see how their emotions are bigger than them.
Step Two: Positive Connection
After you acknowledge their feelings, make a positive connection with them – this can come in the form of a hug, a compliment, acknowledgement of something well done, a smile, or having a fun time together. The key is to show your child that you accept them for who they are and how they feel, even when they experience big emotions.
Step Three: Emotional Wellbeing
As well as being parents or carers, we are also teachers. Now that your child’s feelings have been acknowledged and you have made a (heart centred) connection with them, you have an opportunity to teach them ways to practice expressing their emotions via activities that include:
drawing a picture
creating a story about how they’re feeling
a journal to help record what they’re feeling and why
These can all help your child process what happened and how they felt. Modelling strategies like reasoning, giving choices, and compromising, are all effective at helping build the foundation for your child’s ability to learn ways to develop their own emotional wellbeing.