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Helping to Label Emotions

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  • Helping to Label Emotions

    Hello everyone,

    I'm interested in ideas that others have found effective in helping to teach our little ones how to label emotions. My daughter is nine months old. So, she is still quite young, and I only recently turned my mind to this, when someone suggested what seems like a very good idea: when my little one seems angry, label it, 'You are angry', as well as help her run hands softly along her arms, or other techniques to help her learn how to cope with, for example, anger. Alternatively, with happy, frustration, sad, etc.

    I like the idea of this 'in the moment' opportunity for learning. I have also heard about using picture books during play that depict facial expressoins and label emotions.

    Anyone out there care to share what they have found effective to label and help to teach coping with different emotions?

    Many thanks, leanne

  • #2
    NVC (non-violent communication or compassionite communication)
    has great lists on that. You speak of emotional intellegence and it is great to get started on a feelings vocabulary so young!

    Respond with Sensitivity API Principle

    (non-API links below)

    Here is a good one after a quick online search

    Here is two articles that have interesting viewpoints -

    Gotta go to bed, sorry for the quick reply!


    • #3
      my children loved those baby books that showed babies' faces with all different emotions. we'd read them over and over again. then, when they were older -3 or 4, we made our own. i took pictures of them making different faces and we laminated them into a book.
      we also do a lot of talking about feelings. we talk about how we feel about everything, from food to park visits to school. if we saw someone in a store upset, we'd talk about it. i remember when my oldest was 2, he said to me, 'mom, let's talk about how you are feeling'. so it sinks it very young!


      • #4
        if we saw someone in a store upset, we'd talk about it
        My eldest has always been very concerned over distressed children in public. Even if we cannot see the crying child he wants me to tell him reasons why he might be crying etc...
        It is very sweet in a way. I'm glad that he notices.


        • #5
          My ds also. In fact he usually hovers around to see if there's anything he can do to help soothe!

          On the topic of labelling emotions I found it also useful to label/name my own feelings to him (happy, frustrated, angry, hurting etc) or if the opportunity came up to label other peoples emotions for him. That way he can see the range of ways of expressing different ones.

          It was also important for me to make sure that I allowed him his feelings, not necessarily any old way of expressing them but that emotions are natural and normal and not to be suppressed.
          Last edited by kamala; 10-12-2009, 04:12 PM.


          • #6
            My daughter has learned a lot about emotions from watching TV. For example, if she sees a character crying, she may ask me what's wrong with them, and I'll tell her he's sad or happy or whatever.

            We also love these emotion dolls and have used them during a tantrum to help explain what was happening. It really calmed her down to tell her story about the doll, when nothing else worked.

            I love watching my daughter learn about emotions. It's been a great joy to see these develop, and to learn more about them myself!



            • #7
              AwakenedMama, what you wrote reminds me of Playful Parenting that is a really good book written by a father and a play therapist.


              I really got a lot out of that book (hubby too) I left it in the bathroom and he read it while he was in there. I advise that technique if you have a hubby who only reads in the bathroom!


              • #8
                Originally posted by naomifrederickmd View Post
                AwakenedMama, what you wrote reminds me of Playful Parenting that is a really good book written by a father and a play therapist.
                Yes, I love this book. It was the first discipline book I really connected with.