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At-home strategies for teaching Feelings

Everyday is a new opportunity and a teachable moment for you and your child to learn about feelings together. Here are some ideas to consider

Start by teaching your child to label his/hers own emotions. Ask “How are you feeling today?” or suggest they may be sad or angry because of the look on their face. Show them in the mirror and help them name their feelings

Read books or watch movies together and explore how a character may be feeling and why. Pause to ask, “How do you think he feels right now?” Then, discuss the reasons why. Ask questions like “How can you tell that the character is feeling that way? Can you make a face that shows that feeling?”

Use puppets or your child's stuffed toys to act out different scenarios, e.g. being afraid at the dentist's office. Pretend play is a great way to teach your child about feelings and show them how they can be expressed

Share your own emotions. Talk about something that happened to you. Talk about what you did to feel better. "I was at the store today and the line was very long! I was very frustrated but I decided to take a deep breath to help me get through it”

Communicate on eye level with all children and show them how your face looks when you feel different emotions

Model. Throughout your routines, model labeling your own emotions (e.g., “I feel excited because …”). Ask them if they ever feel the same way

Offer suggestions and help them figure out healthy ways to cope with difficult emotions, say "Looks like you are getting frustrated because your brother took the toy you wanted to play with. How about we ask him to share with you and maybe you can play together?"

You can also take pictures of your child showing different emotions and make a fun book you can continue to look at together

Role-play with your child – take turns - and help them process something that happened to them; explore what they can say or do if they feel excluded from a game or if a peer made a hurtful remark or made fun of them

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