Helping Your Child Express Feelings Through Play
Toddler are at the age when they discover something new and strange: feelings.
Toddler are at the age when they discover something new and strange: feelings. Their range of emotions expands to include: fear, happiness, jealousy, sadness, and so on. They may however not know the right words to express these new feelings, and it is up to the mother to help guide them through those emotions.
First off, you can help your child make sense of his or her feelings by using words to describe emotions. Over time, this gives them the ability to talk about their feelings, instead of acting out on them. (TIP: Explain to your child what it is they are feeling. Give them the right terms for their emotions. That is how they will pick up the vocabulary needed to express themselves!)
Another great way to get your child to understand their feelings is to explore feelings through play. You can use puppets to create a story about your child’s fears, or to deal with their separation anxiety. Drawing also helps, as does reading books about feelings. (TIP: Help your child express feelings by keeping a chart of smileys with different emotions handy! If they don’t have the right words, they’ll recognize images and will be able to express themselves.)
No matter what you do, your child will try to get their feelings across to you in one way or another. For example, they may express emotions by playing with their teddy bear, recreating scenes that scare them in their heads. Calm their fears by playing along. With time, your child will have a better grasp on their feelings.