Help Kids Build ‘Feelings Vocabulary’

Remember the good old days, when you lived at home with siblings? You shared fun together, going for bike rides and playing games. You may also recall fighting over the front seat, calling your sister ‘knucklehead,’ or having your hair pulled.

Well, the nature of conflict hasn’t changed much. Now you’re a parent, and your goal is to help your child learn healthy ways to communicate and control anger. Using calm words and considering consequences doesn’t come naturally, so kids need our guidance. Start by introducing your child to the character Liz, a girl who gets mad at her little sister. When angry, Liz shouts and throws toys. Children will learn with Liz as she finds new ways to manage her anger and restore peace.

It helps kids to watch my story character calm herself, think before she acts, and use fair words. Literature that helps readers find healthy solutions to problems is described as ‘bibliotherapy.’

My book includes an Activity Guide. Here’s an activity from the book that will help your child learn to identify and verbalize feelings.

Activity: Help Your Child Build a “Feelings Vocabulary”

Angry outbursts often start when a child feels embarrassed, disappointed, or sad. To help your child build a “feelings vocabulary, “ cut out pictures from magazines that show people who appear happy, sad, mad, excited, scared, and embarrassed. Paste the pictures on paper to make ‘feelings cards.’ When your child struggles, ask him to find a picture that matches his feeling and use words to describe the feeling.

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