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Tuning in to their feelings

July 13, 2012

Here’s a great idea…

In his book, Between Parent and Child, Haim G. Ginott says, “How do we know what children feel? We look at them and listen to them. We also draw on our own emotional experiences. We know what children must feel . . .. We phrase our words so that they know we understand what they have gone through.” (p. 15)

In other words…

Children are trying to learn how to understand and deal with all the feelings that overwhelm them. This is made more difficult when we don’t show understanding for their feelings. As parents, we can help our children the most by inviting them to share and talk openly with us about their feelings. As they do, we help them build an emotional vocabulary and become better equipped to deal with their feelings.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…

The next time your child is trying to express an emotion, tune in. Help the child elaborate on the feelings and teach new words to describe the feelings. The more you talk with your child about her feelings, the more understood she will feel and the more comfortable she will be sharing emotions with you in the future.

To find out more…

 about parenting, check out The Parenting Journey or See the World Through My Eyes programs at arfamilies.org, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You can also read Between Parent and Child.

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