Learning emotions for kids can be a game changer as they grow. That can also be a game changer for adults as well because when kids understand emotions and can use the right words to describe the right emotion it makes a world of difference in all the family relationships.
My kids have both struggled with emotional regulation and dysregulation over the years. One has anxiety disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the other of course has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD.) I have talked about that disability many times over the years. But if you are interested in learning more then check out the piece that I wrote about parenting a teen with FASD for CBC Parents.
Teaching Kids How to Handle Big Emotions
One of the best things that we did early on for our kids was build that vocabulary about emotions and feelings so that they could express how they felt with language instead of exploding. When they were little that meant saying things like: How do you think that made your sister feel? Or stop and look at their face. Do they look happy or sad?
I am not here to tell you that this worked miracles or anything like that. But it helped and was necessary for their development and for our sanity.
And yet, of course, as teens things shifted yet again and explosive behaviour has been a huge part of the pandemic years. I still believe the foundation matters and giving kids the tools to articulate emotions matters for life
Learning Emotions Activity Mats and Cards
To use this activity
Click on the Activity Mats Download then print it out and enjoy!