Helping your preschooler understand and regulate their emotions is a very important lesson. It involves helping them recognize the emotion, use words to express feelings, learning how to calm down in the face of an overwhelming emotion, and learn to treat others with kindness and empathy. These are skills and behaviors that are learned. Preschoolers are taking in a lot about themselves and where they fit in the world. At times when they are confronted with a new emotion, or the action of someone else, it can trigger an extreme response – such as tantrums, yelling, hitting, biting – causing concern for parents and care givers.
Learning ways to cope and respond to these situations can help your child develop skills that they will use not only in childhood, but right through to adulthood.
Start by helping your child recognize the different emotions. Check out this fun and interactive Sesame Street program on emotions with your child. Discuss each emotion, what might cause the feeling and how to cope with it. It’s necessary to let your child know that they can experience a wide range of emotions, something that is very normal. It’s what they do with them that becomes important!