Expressing feelings safely in school and in the community

Young children are faced with the same emotions as adults; however, they lack the reasoning skills to safely and effectively express them. Like adults, children get angry, frustrated, embarrassed, nervous, etc., but do not have the language skills to talk about how they are feeling. As a result, their feelings are often expressed by physical and inappropriate ways. Tantrums, outbursts, and thrown articles are the usual method to express, much to the exasperation of the adults in their charge.


At SEL for Prevention, we teach children to identify their feelings and those of others. For example, simple questions can help them identify a particular emotion. “Do birthday parties make you happy?” is a fairly innocuous question to an adult, but to a child, it broadens their range of thought through their emotions.


We teach children to identify and express their feeling in ways that are appropriate in school and elsewhere by observing and identifying the ways adults express theirs. For example, when a child is taught to observe the way their parent or teacher effectively expresses their emotions in an adult manner, they learn appropriate behaviors in any situation they encounter. Other methods, such as visuals like photographs and art, are used to teach children how to identify emotions. Stories are another effective method to get kids to talk about their feelings. Identifying through characters and illustrations not only broadens their emotional range, but it a good way to develop their reading skills.


By encouraging children through conversation and engagement, children start to learn the fundamental skills that positively evolve to greater creative thinking as they eventually approach adulthood. At SEL for Prevention, we teach children how to express feelings through them role-playing these emotions. In turn, this allows children to develop a broader understanding of logic and reason that will serve them in their adult years.


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