Updated: Nov 10, 2020
Why would you need to label feelings?
You are helping your children by guiding and teaching them.
There are a multitude of things that you need to teach your child. This is so that they are equipped to deal with what the world throws at them.
One of the most basic ones is to labels their feelings. However this is often missed. The aim is firstly so that they are aware. Then that they are comfortable with the labels and can use it. This help by creating acknowledgement. Also the familiarity of knowing the feeling that they are in.
Let be break that down for you
When your child is displaying an emotion you can assist them. It may be that they are happy. You can say - I see you are happy about that. Or it may be that they are sad, or angry and again you can express that in words. As they get used to it you can build up the vocabulary. The younger they are, the more basic the emotions are. As they grow the range grows. At around two years old a common one that they can frequently feel is frustration. This is talked about in the article on tantrums .
With happy emotions it can be labeled at the time. With some of the emotions during emotional outbursts you will need to hold off until they have calmed down.
You don't need to make a big deal of it. Just label it and mention it. Over time, the repetition will sink in.
You will reach a point when you can ask them to label the familiar ones. For example - what are you feeling now.
The aim eventually it to reach a point where they volunteer the label themselves. -
You may be wondering what the point is. Part of the process of labelling our emotions is acknowledging them. It is also about be familiar and comfortable with them.
Once we know the emotion we are better placed with how to deal with it. We acknowledge it and then we can ask ourselves what our strategy is for handling this emotion. This is aimed more at the less favourable emotions. We feel frustrated, for example, and we can ask ourselves what is our best strategy for when we feel frustrated. This is of course where you come in as the parent - you need to teach them the strategies for handling them. That will be covered in another article.