Creative Child July 2017 - Page 33

Help your child put names to their feelings. Recently, my daughter told the lovely bakery employer in our local supermarket that she was “very sad” (with crossed arms and a serious pout), after the woman told her that they were out of sprinkle cookies. While others around us found this a hilarious declaration of emotions from a two-year-old, it made me feel so proud. This little nugget who was now without cookie was able to properly label how she felt, because I tirelessly model this for her. She now also exclaims “AWESOME!” when she’s excited, tells me “Bella’s so happy,” when something funny happens, and even “Bella’s tummy feels happy because it had some chicken”. Helping your child put a name to how they’re feeling in a particular moment will help you continue the conversation of feelings whenever they express emotion of any kind, fostering the development of their emotional intelligence. Allowing your child to own their emotions. Back to that whole “perception” thing. You may not find it tantrum-worthy that the wind blew in a certain direction versus another, but that doesn’t mean your child shouldn’t. When a child expresses emotion, it should be honored, regardless of how you feel. Today, my daughter threw a fit because I opened her snack bag for her. I wished in that moment she realized how ridiculous this was, as she certainly couldn’t open that Ziploc bag without me, but instead, I said, “Mommy understands that you’re sad because you wanted to open this yourself,” and to that, I got a “Yea! Go away,” followed by a cute little smirk and a “thanks for the goldfish.” Do I have emotional intelligence down to a perfect science with my child? No, and that’s okay, but I’ve got the foundation down – and now you can, too. • 32