The Ultimate List of Feelings to Help Kids Express Themselves
This week I am bracing myself as I officially become a toddler mom. Though this week marks my little guy’s first birthday and “official” toddlerhood, I have been seeing the shift over the last few weeks. He cries when we take all of the many dangerous things he grabs out of his hands and it’s meltdown central when it’s time to come inside for dinner. A few weeks ago I felt completely unprepared for these new developments so I started to do some research to help me make a plan and feel more confident to handle these new big expressions of feelings.
More: 8 Calming Phrases to Say to Your Child Having a Meltdown
Identifying Feelings and Emotional Intelligence
Many experts agree that learning to identify and name feelings early on leads to more emotionally intelligent and resilient adults with a stronger sense of well-being. Though this sounds simple enough, in reality many of us struggle with this even as adults. For one reason or another, many of us have been taught to stuff down and ignore our feelings or feel self-conscious about them. It can be a challenge to link the sensations in our bodies to a feeling when we are caught up in the moment, or conditioned to keeping big emotions bottled up for fear of judgement or repercussions. If this is you I would highly recommend the Toddler Course by Big Little Feelings.
Teaching our kiddos to be more aware of their emotional state and comfortable with it, is truly a gift that we can give to them. Then cozy up for a family movie night and watch Pixar’s Inside Out to learn about the value of allowing yourself to feel all of the different emotions, not just positive emotions, as they bubble up.
How to Use a Feelings List With Your Kid
Use this list of feeling words to help your children name and identify their feelings. In a calm moment, ask them to point out what feelings they have noticed today. The list expands on basic emotions so that your child can pick the feelings that resonate with them the most. Model for them by naming your feelings as they arise and point them out on the list.
Editor’s Note: This list is based on Marc Brackett’s Permission to Feel book.
List of Feelings
Use these feelings flashcards along with this feelings list to help your children identify and express their feelings and emotions.
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Lauren Anderson is a new mom living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has a busy career in health care, and in her free time loves to hike with her husband and son, Hudson, train for half marathons, and experiment with new recipes in her kitchen.