As your little one becomes a toddler they begin to be aware of their feelings. The feel sad, happy, worried, angry and happy. As they develop, it is important that we as caregivers assist them with appropriately expressing them. But just how do you do that when your little one barely speaks and doesn’t have a clue how to express anger and frustration other than by screaming, crying and throwing a tantrum.
So just in time for those terrible twos here are some positive suggestions to get you going:
Keep bonding with your child: Continue to make sure your little one feels safe, secure and loved. Interact with your child speaking instructions and then following through by demonstrating and following those instructions yourself.
Encourage your child to use signs: There are many DVD, books and website that explain the different sign you and your child can use to describe how they are feeling. Some examples are clenching your fish to demonstrate anger, resting your head on your hands when sleep and cross your hands over your heart to say “I love you.
In teaching your children how to express their feeling start by asking a question. Try to interpret their facial expressions and behaviors and then ask the appropriate question matching those expressions and behaviors. An example is kid is crying and pouting you might ask “are you feeling sad” Do this face to face to get them familiar with the words that match their feelings.
If your child is signer make sure you acknowledge their sign with the appropriate sign and that you are willing to help if the negative and that you are willing to share in their joy if their feeling is positive. By validating and meeting their needs you are reinforcing the acknowledgement of feeling both verbally and emotionally. When your child is experiencing a conflict, use the moment to talk and sign feelings. Use the moment to talk about feelings and simple problem solving skills.
Taking these basic steps will help your child build their confidence, appropriately express their feelings and build on their successes.
Source: Baby Hearts by L. Acredolo