“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”
~ Dr. Seuss
Talking to your children in an age-appropriate manner about their feelings teaches them to express their emotions and fears. It gives them the language needed to understand themselves, accept reality, move forward and grow.
Talking about moving past negative emotions and overcoming fears, helps children think about solving problems for themselves and to deal with difficult situations. We can help our children by talking about practical ways to solve problems.
Sharing our own feelings and emotions gives children strength. It shows them that we empathize with their feelings. It helps them feel heard and understood.
Empathy is taught through modeling and practice. It is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. In practice, we can teach empathy by demonstrating empathy for others. It can be taught naturally using situations arising regularly by talking about what is happening and asking the child to think about how others might feel or how they think they would feel in the situations you are seeing.
It’s important to let children know it’s okay to be angry or afraid sometimes. It’s how we deal with emotions that matter. In teaching resilience and problem solving, talking through the causes of problems and coming up with practical solutions together help children solve their own problems later.