Kids experience complex feelings just like adults. They get frustrated, excited, nervous, sad, jealous, frightened, worried, angry and embarrassed.
However young kids usually don’t have the vocabulary to talk about how they are feeling. Instead they communicate their feelings in other ways.
Kids can express their feelings through facial expressions, through their body, their behaviour and play. Sometimes they may act out their feelings in physical, inappropriate or problematic ways.
From the moment kids are born, they start learning the emotional skills they need to identify, express and manage their feelings. They learn how to do this through their social interactions and relationships with important people in their lives such as parents, grandparents and caregivers.
When we understand the critical role emotions play in our children’s development, we need not squash them when those feelings challenge us. Instead, we can help train them at various ages and stages to listen to their heart and respond in ways that will be healthy for them and others.