Children are full of questions, a lot indeed. Their tiny brain cannot comprehend different types of emotions. Feeling sad or upset is alien to them. Their world is full of happiness and laughter. The best feeling for them is mom and dad’s hug which makes them feel safe and cared for. Emotions and Feelings: Why can’t I be Happy all the Time?

Teaching a child that there are shades of different emotions can be over whelming at times. Yet we have to help them learn that life is not black and white but shades of grey. If we have to teach them the value of living in a family we also have to teach them how everyone is different from the other.

As per a research by John Gottman, emotion coaching is the key to raising happy, resilient and well adjusted kids. The kids who are emotion coached tend to experience fewer negative feelings and more positive feelings.

The first step towards coping with negative feelings or emotions is acknowledging and accepting those feelings. Do not give an impression that their bad behaviour is acceptable. Be firm and stand your ground whilst sending the message across that all feelings are okay, even the worst ones. Help the child understand their emotions by first giving them name. Next encourage them to talk about expressing themselves when they are scared or angry, guilty or sad, lonely or hurt, nervous, lazy, bored, sick. There are many positive ways to let others know how you are feeling. Throwing things or showing tantrums is not an acceptable behaviour, whatever the reason.

Once they become familiar that it is okay to be mad at times they will respond to situations than reacting. Visual impact leaves a lasting impression. They will grow up looking at and learning from how we as an adult deal with our emotions. So it is always a good idea to monitor our ways of handling our feelings in front of them.

We can teach kids about emotions through various ways like story telling or real life examples, through picture cards or emoticon sticks that can be made easily at home. We can also teach them new strategies to use when facing negative emotions like anger, resentment, frustration, sadness, etc. These could include taking a deep breath when frustrated or angry, involving an adult for conflict resolution, asking for a cuddle when sad, asking for turns when others won’t share and finding a quite space to calm down when distressed.

You can also sing this song along with your child to make her understand different emotions. It will be a fun way of teaching them about diverse emotions. (song taken from :

Five Little Pumpkins Lyrics and Actions

♫ One little pumpkin smiling smiling. [Hold up one finger and then make a smiley face!]
One little pumpkin smiling smiling.
One little pumpkin smiling smiling.
One little pumpkin is happy. [Smile and put your fingers on your cheeks.]

Two little pumpkins pouting pouting. [Hold up two fingers and then frown and look down.]
Two little pumpkins pouting pouting.
Two little pumpkins pouting pouting.
Two little pumpkins are grumpy. [Cross your arms and frown.]

Three little pumpkins yawning yawning. [Hold up three fingers and then cover your mouth with your hand as you yawn.]
Three little pumpkins yawning yawning.
Three little pumpkins yawning yawning.
Three little pumpkins are sleepy. [Stretch and yawn like you are falling asleep.]

Four little pumpkins crying crying. [Hold up four fingers and then pretend to wipe a tear from your eye.]
Four little pumpkins crying crying.
Four little pumpkins crying crying.
Four little pumpkins are sad. [Wipe tears from both eyes with both hands.]

Five little pumpkins laughing laughing. [Hold up five fingers and then hold your tummy as you pretend to laugh.]
Five little pumpkins laughing laughing.
Five little pumpkins laughing laughing.
Five little pumpkins are playing. [Run around the room!] ♫

Understanding emotions and helping kids formulate their own strategies to deal with them is a critical part of a child’s overall development.

Keep reminding them that it’s okay to tell you how they feel.

Always remember to praise them with words of encouragement when they use new strategy to deal with their emotions instead of reacting in the ‘old’ ways!

Happy Parenting with BuddingStar !


About Prachi Sachdev Mendiratta

Prachi Sachdev Mendiratta is a Blogger who writes on parenting, relationships and social issues concerning women and children. Travelling is her second love. Mother to 2 lovely kids herself she is on a never ending expedition to find new ways to make life interesting for the little ones and not let boredom set in. In the process of learning and growing with her kids, she figured out that the best way to do it was unlearn her opinion about the world. And try to see and put in words how children perceive everything around them.

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