Show Your Child What Feelings Look Like
Get a poster, or draw one with your child, of faces with different emotions. Ask your child to identify one of the emotions on the poster and when your child last felt this way and why. Ask their how she’s feeling now and why your child feels that way. This will increase their vocabulary while also helping their more accurately identify their emotions.
Help Your Child Identify the Feelings of Others
Take opportunities everyday to help your child identify the feelings of others. How does their face look when your child feels that way? Pointing out emotions in others is a good way to help your child begin to understand those feelings in herself. Teacher Clare Morrison suggests also asking, “Show me what happy looks like for you,” and, “What does sad look like to you?” By making a facial expression, your child is better-able to connect the emotion to their own body language.
Point Out Feelings Using Family Pictures
Many young children like to look at family photos. Take the opportunity to talk about emotions that family members are feeling. For example, wedding photos will be filled with happy people. Point out their smiles and their expressions. This could be a good opportunity to point out that someone who is crying isn’t always sad. In some cases it can mean someone is very happy.
Talk About Your Child's Emotions As She's Having Them
For example, if your child seems angry or frustrated, teacher Clare Morrison suggests saying, “I noticed your eyebrows are closer together and your arms are folded. Tell me how you’re feeling right now.” By prompting your child to talk about their feelings as she’s having them, you can help their identify their feelings. Try not to label their emotion for their by saying, “You look mad” or “You look sad.” Instead, let their give a name for the way they are feeling as your child begins to connect their body language to an emotion.
Help Your Child Recognize Her Strengths
When a child shows interest in an activity or topic, it is often because they have a strength related to it. One of the best ways to help your child understand and value their strengths is to encourage their ideas and interests. You can begin to do this by asking their what your child likes or noting a topic your child talks a great deal about. Nurture their interest by finding related activities. For example, you can both take part in volunteering at an animal shelter if she’s interested in cats. Whatever the activity may be, by encouraging your child’s interests, you are helping to define and enhance their strengths and build their confidence.
2nd Grade Self-Awareness Skills
At this young age, your child may have a hard time saying exactly what they are feeling. They may be upset without quite having the vocabulary or the self-awareness to fully explain their emotions.