Expressing Feelings

How can I help my child express their feelings in a positive way?

Children experience the same feelings as adults, but often don’t understand those emotions. That can be a scary position for your child as she tries to express herself. It is important for your child to know that everyone experiences the same feelings. The emotion itself isn’t bad, but we all have to learn how to react to those feelings. Below is a small list of books that give names to the emotions your child will experience and provides children with real examples on how to best deal with that feeling.

Summaries taken from
Sometimes I’m Bombaloo by Rachel Vail. Sometimes Katie loses her temper. She uses her feet and her fists instead of words. When
Katie is this mad, she’s just not herself. Sometimes, she’s Bombaloo. Being Bombaloo is scary. But a little time-out and a lot of love can help calm Bombaloo down and help Katie feel like Katie again.
Readers of all ages will appreciate the warmth, humor, and keen insight Rachel Vail and Yumi Heo bring to an issue all families experience. This reassuring picture book is perfect for sharing with all the little (and big) Bombaloos in our lives. -Publisher Review

How Are You Peeling: Foods With Moods by Saxton Freymann. “Amused? Confused? Frustrated? Surprised? Try these feelings on for size.”This is a book that asks all the right questions. And leaves you feeling great no matter what the answers are!”Who’d have dreamed that produce could be so expressive, so charming, so lively and so funny?…Freymann and…Elffers have created sweet and feisty little beings with feelings, passions, fears and an emotional range that is, well, organic.”-The New York Times Book Review

When Sophie Gets Angry– Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang. Everybody gets angry sometimes. And for children, anger can be very upsetting. In this Caldecott-honor book, children will see what Sophie does when she gets angry. Parents, teachers, and children can talk about it. People do lots of different things when they get angry. What do you do? -Barnes & Noble Overview

Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis. With tickling verses, and through the 13-mood span of a saucy little redheaded girl, Curtis affirms that whatever we’re feeling inside is okay. Her playful rhymes encourage us to express our feelings — from excited to grumpy, cranky to joyful. -Barnes & Noble Overview

My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss    The late Dr. Seuss saw his original text about feelings and moods as part of the “first book ever to be based on beautiful illustrations and sensational color.” The quest for an artist has finally ended–after the manuscript languished for more than two decades–at the paint brushes of husband-and-wife team Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher whose stunning, expressive paintings reveal such striking images as a bright red horse kicking its heels, a cool and quiet green fish, a sad and lonely purple dinosaur, and an angrily howling black wolf. Using a spectrum of vibrant colors and a menagerie of animals, this unique book does for the range of human moods and emotions what Oh, the Places You’ll Go! does for the human life cycle.   Here is a wonderful way for parents to talk with children about their feelings.  With Johnson and Fancher’s atmospheric, large-scale paintings bursting off the pages, Dr. Seuss’s vision is brought to life. This rare and beautiful book is bound to appeal to both the innocent young and the most sophisticated seniors.

When I Feel Angry by Cornelia Maude Spelman* Anger is a scary emotion for young children, their parents, and caregivers. As this little bunny experiences the things that make her angry, she also learns ways to deal with her anger—ways that won’t hurt others. –Albert Whitman & Company

When I Miss You by Cornelia Maude Spelman* Young children often experience anxiety when they are separated from their mothers or fathers. This newest title in “The Way I Feel” series features a young guinea pig who expresses her distress when her mother and father go away. “Missing you is a heavy, achy feeling. I don’t like missing you. I want you right now!” Eventually the little guinea pig realizes that sometimes she and her parents can’t be together. When that happens, she knows that others can help. “They can snuggle with me or we can play. It helps me to be warm and close to someone. They remind me that you’ll be back.” –Albert Whitman & Company

*Cornelia Maude Spelman has a large series of books on feelings. We have listed just two examples.

The Way I Feel by Janan Cain  The zany characters who sniffle, soar and shriek through this book will help kids understand the concept of such emotions as joy, disappointment, boredom and anger. “The Way I Feel” will also show kids how to express their feelings with words.


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Filed under 2 Year Olds, 3 Year Olds, 4 Year Olds, 5 Year Olds, Questions

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