6 Ways to Help Your Kids Understand Their Emotions

by | Jul. 27, 2015

Mormon Life

MR says: Learning how to understand emotions is difficult for anyone--especially children. But here are some simple tips you can use as parents to help kids process their emotions.

Joy, sadness, anger and disgust.

Thanks to the Disney animated flick “Inside Out,” parent and their kids may be thinking a lot more about these emotions. And hopefully they’re talking about them, too, says Ross Flom, a BYU psychology professor who specializes in child development. Flom and two former grad students co-authored a study released in the September 2015 issue of  “Journal of Experimental Psychology” that shows kids as young as age 4 can recognize complex emotions in others and see them in themselves around age 5.

“We do know that kids or parents that do talk to their kids about emotional events tend to perform better academically and socially as they enter school age,” Flom says.  Here are his five tips for helping kids get in touch with their emotions:

1. Start young

Parents help kids identify emotions from the cradle, Flom says. “One of the first things shared between an adult and an infant is emotion. New moms, within a few days, are very good at reading their infant’s cues and clues.” Starting around age 2 1/2 or 3, parents can start talking to their kids about their emotions.

Lead image via iStock.
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