Well, feelings, what we call Emotions, are fueled by the hormones in our brain and body. Depending on what is happening, these hormones can calm us down or make us feel anxious. For example, if we see a lion coming closer to attack, this might scare us, increasing our stress levels as well as make it harder for us to think.
On the contrary, when we bite on our favourite ice-cream flavour, it makes us happy and pleasant. Yes, we know, understanding everything about a child’s emotions and feelings are even complicated, especially for a 3-5-year-old who doesn’t understand why you won’t let them eat another ice cream or an 8-year-old who is upset that you called him to do his homework and he has to leave the playground early.
But hold on! There are many different ways to teach children about emotions. According to child psychology, one way is by showing them and telling them what the emotion means for their body.
Other ways are through imitation of an emotional state, or by asking how they feel in certain situations. It is important for parents to teach their children how to understand and identify all the emotions in order to have healthy emotional intelligence later in life. Wondering what are the ways? Well, not to worry, we are right here to discuss that.
What Are Different Types Of Child Emotions?
Based on a theory of Robert Plutchik emotions can broadly be classified into 8 :
Joy – Happiness
The term joy is used with regards to mental or enthusiastic states, including positive or lovely feelings going from satisfaction to serious euphoria. We also utilize it with regards to life fulfilment, abstract prosperity, eudaimonia, thriving and prosperity.
Sadness – Grief
The term grief is the reaction to misfortune and distress. Mostly, people relate it with unpleasant feelings where they feel like crying and feel low on energy.
Surprise – Shock
Shock is another child emotion. It’s a concise mental and physiological expression, an alarming reaction to people experience as the aftereffect of a startling occasion. Shock can range from being extremely astonished, which may instigate the battle or flight reaction, or little shock.
Fear – Dread
An obnoxious child emotion and a feeling which could either be subjective or objective, making the person believe that any respective thing or person is dangerous and could cause harm or misery.
Anger is a typical strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. For kids, who can be very easily provoked, anger comes out because their fight or flight response is triggered. So when your child tends to throw a tantrum, hits or does something inappropriate, he reacts to stimuli that make him feel some sort of pain or frustration.
“Anger may seem irrational, but for a child that hasn’t yet learned how to regulate emotions, it’s an immediate natural reaction to some sort of wrongdoing your child feels.
Trust – Faith
A feeling of firm confidence in the dependability, truth, capacity, or strength of a person or thing, in whom you can confine anytime and anywhere with no apprehensions.
Aversion – Hatred
Hatred is a feeling of not liking someone or something at all. It can be felt based on some previous encounters with the respective thing, or it can be there for no reason. Both are normal and it’s okay to feel that way.
Anticipation – Prediction
Anticipation is a feeling including joy or tension in considering or expecting something from an absolutely normal incident or occasion.
From the time they’re born, we tell kids to “use their words” instead of acting out. They learn that some child emotions are good and others not so much. But what happens when a child doesn’t know how to identify these feelings? How can we teach our kids about child emotions if they don’t even understand themselves?
Steps For Making Them Understand Child Emotions
So, the first step towards making them understand child emotions and understanding child development through emotions much better is letting them explore and find out how different they feel in numerous given situations. More importantly, not asking them to shut off the emotion they are feeling.
The second step is, acknowledging their feelings and validating child emotions by letting them know that it’s okay to be sad when you lose something or angry at a game for not going your way. They need to know that these emotions are natural responses in life so we should feel free to express what we’re feeling without being apprehensive about it. Emotions are not good or bad, they are just natural and invincible. So, they should be let in and let out smoothly.
The third step to help them understand child emotions is, teaching them how to manage their emotions. Telling the child about different ways of understanding themselves and being aware of what’s happening around them in order for it not to overwhelm and control them. They should know that they are capable of controlling it if they learn various strategies on where to put all these feelings inside so as to not let these emotions overcome them.
The fourth step is, teaching them how to think about their feelings. Furthermore, the parent must also teach children what they are feeling so they don’t confuse themselves with other people’s emotions and vice versa. This entails explaining that our thoughts make us feel certain ways too and we need to be mindful of these things in order for them not to get out of control.
Finally, you must teach the child how to manage their feelings with friendly and subtle tactics. Children should be made aware that these emotions are not permanent, whether pleasant or unpleasant, but instead, they are just one part of a series of emotions that will help them cope better when experiencing difficulties or failures.
Helping them understand child emotion is not something to take lightly. While it can be difficult for parents to understand and control their child’s emotions, the benefits are worth every ounce of effort that goes into parenting.
If you want your kids to grow up to be happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adults who will make a positive difference in society then investing time now into understanding how they feel emotionally is absolutely necessary. We know this may seem like an impossible task but honestly, it’s not.
All you need to do is, try and keep trying, every effort will pay off and will show successful results.