Many young children feel “happy” or “mad”, but often miss the feelings in-between because they do not yet have the labels and/or definitions for those emotions. Expanding your child’s emotional vocabulary is important so your child can better communicate with other’s how they are feeling and to engage in conversations about their personal experiences with the world. Children who lack understanding and awareness when it comes to emotional vocabulary can sometimes struggle when dealing with big emotions. Parents can improve their child’s emotional vocabulary by teaching feeling words and their emotional definitions. There are evidence- based instructional strategies that parents can use to build their child’s emotional vocabulary, such as:
Sources: What Can You Do to Increase Children’s Emotional Vocabulary (Brookes Blog) and Enhancing Emotional Vocabulary in Young Children (Gail E. Joseph, Ph.D. & Phillip S. Strain, Ph.D)
Written by Registered Psychologist (Provisional) with Wildflowers, Jenn Yim-Rodier.