Children’s emotions are being taken into more consideration these days. In other historical moments, of course, all dimensions of childhood were taken into account, including the emotional one. However, more importance has been given to this issue in recent decades.
Therefore, in the field of education and psychology, it is considered very important to properly manage children’s emotions for the good development of infants and young children. This is because the regulation of emotions in childhood has a positive effect on conflict resolution with adults as well as with oneself.
But can children really learn to manage their emotions? So, at what age do we begin to control our emotions? We address these questions and detail a few activities that will help you on the job.
How do children’s emotions work?
Children say that outstanding learning ability is like a ‘sponge’. However, it is necessary to find the right way to bring knowledge closer to one’s level.
So if you want to work with emotions at this stage, abstract concepts won’t teach children how to deal with them properly.
Simplifying ideas and using age-appropriate language and learning methods your child likes will make it easier for them to master new concepts and gain knowledge.
As pointed out in an article by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, emotions affect attention, memory, and learning. It is also a factor in building social relationships and determining overall well-being.
Promoting the development of emotional intelligence from childhood has a lot of impact on life after becoming an adult. For this reason, we share 10 activities that can help children deal with their emotions.
1) Appraisal Dictionary
In order for children to get used to their emotions, it is good to understand exactly what they mean. These activities can be done from 2 years old and are suitable for all ages.
Activities consist of selecting pictures of people expressing a particular emotion. Cut out the photo and stick it in a notebook, writing the name of the emotion next to it.
Depending on your child’s age, reflect on your feelings or have your child write about them. Very young children use only basic emotions such as happiness, sadness, and anger, while older children may choose more complex emotions.
2) Activities to deal with children’s emotions: Emotion notes
Most children do not know how to communicate emotions when they feel them, especially unpleasant ones. The best way to communicate is through drawing.
Create a notebook where you can draw your feelings whenever necessary, and scribble or draw the feelings you feel at a specific moment in more detail.
It is also interesting to reflect on the painting while going through the process with the child. If your child is upset or doesn’t want to talk, wait until he calms down.
3) Emotion Diary
Emotion diary for kids’ feelings
Keeping a feeling journal encourages reading and writing and is very positive for growth.
Once children have mastered writing, have them write down the emotions that have affected them the most each day . To make the activity easier, you can do it with the children in the form of reflection during the first few days.
If you understand the dynamics, you can do it alone in your own way. Like a diary, I add a picture, and I list the best feelings of the day or what I am grateful for that day and why.
4) A place to calm down
Another great way for children to better manage their emotions is to have a calming space in the home. When your child is overwhelmed with emotions, this is where they can rest.
To make a calming spot more effective, you can decorate the space comfortably. If adults also use this space, children can get used to it more easily.
5) Activities to deal with children’s emotions: reading a story
These days, there are many fairy tales aimed at working on children’s emotions. Fairy tales facilitate reflection and help you to know yourself better.
Even so, any story in your home can be a good tool for dealing with your emotions. And as you reflect on your character, you can ask questions like:
- How do you think the main character is feeling?
- Why do you think you feel that way?
- What would you do if you changed your situation?
- What can I do to feel better?
6) Combining music and artistic expression
A good activity for children to learn how to communicate their emotions is through the use of music. To do this, select pieces of music with a variety of moods.
Help your child express their feelings through dance, drawing, or mimicry. The important thing is for the child to connect with the emotions the music creates and find a way to convey them.
Read Also: Why Children Need More Sleep?
7) The Good News Jar
You can use glass containers or decorative boxes for this activity. Also keep small pieces of paper, pencils, and colored paper right next to it.
Have your child draw or write on paper all the good things that happen to them. Keep that paper in a container and read the good news from time to time. It can come in handy when your child is having a bad day.
8) Emotion Imitation Quiz
This simple group activity consists of writing different emotions on different pieces of paper or cards. One child selects a piece of paper or card that the other children cannot see and mimes it.
If you guess and guess the emotion that other children mime expressed, the other child will express the emotion in the same way.
9) Activities to deal with children’s emotions: drama
The theater is suitable for group activities. Assign roles with dolls or toys, and each expresses a specific emotion.
10) Emotion Thermometer
Draw two thermometers on cardboard with your child. She also draws a face expressing emotion next to it. Draw the most uncomfortable emotion next to the first thermometer. Draw a face of indifference and sadness at the lowest temperature, and a face of nervousness, irritation, and anger next to the highest temperature.
Draw the most positive emotion next to the second thermometer. At lower temperatures, draw faces that are calm and serene, or happy and relaxed, and at higher temperatures, faces with the most active emotions, such as happiness, passion or joy.
Benefits of activities that deal with children’s emotions
Deep knowledge of emotions has a positive effect on children. It is helpful on an individual level as well as in peer and family relationships.
More precisely, it has several advantages:
- Deepen your self-knowledge.
- Self-control is improved.
- Be more accepting of your feelings, whether comfortable or uncomfortable.
- Confidence grows.
- Raise your self-esteem.
- Improve your ability to adapt.
- Live a more active and responsible life.
- improve social skills
- Develop empathy.
- Build healthy interpersonal relationships.
- Manage conflicts with other children in a better way.
- Become good at collaboration.
- Enjoy better coexistence at home.
- Finally, it is a great way to improve your academic performance.
In order to facilitate the expression of emotions, it is necessary to maintain constant communication between parents and children.
Developing emotional intelligence through play activities is a good psychological tool in the short and long term. However, adult guardians must respect the child’s pace of learning. In other words, no matter how valuable learning is, learning cannot be forced.
Flexibility in education is essential and children are not always willing to learn what adults tell them to do. The best way to teach someone how to manage their emotions is by example.
If adults develop good emotional intelligence, children can learn naturally every day. Through non-verbal language, dialogue, actions, and mistakes, you can learn more than any game.
Acquisition of emotional resources is therefore not only a problem for children. The more emotional intelligence adults develop, the more resources and strategies they can pass on to their children.