Teach Your Kids to Label Their Emotions Labeling Emotions Has Helped Squash Temper Tantrums in Our Home

Recently, my kindergartner was throwing more tantrums than she’d seemed to even in preschool. I felt like I had tried it all, but I refused to give up. I read the timeless parenting book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. While there are several takeaways from the book, one featured skill has proven to work wonders in controlling everyone’s tantrums in our family: labeling your child’s emotions.
Picture this: your child is making a craft and trying desperately to cut on the line. She fails — over and over again. Finally, tears and yelling ensue, leaving you helpless as a parent. Instead of holding her or trying to make it better, you simply say, “You’re frustrated.” She looks up at you, takes a deep breath, and says, “I’ll try again.” Really, that’s it. By simply validating your child’s feelings, they feel seen, heard, and, most importantly, understood.Isn’t that all everyone wants? Children are often told to “be quiet,” “calm down,” or “let it go.” To their developing minds, they’re really hearing, “Stop showing your emotions.” What a shame. Children need to understand that having their emotions and feelings is perfectly normal, even through adulthood. Yes, they need to learn to control them at times, but having them is more than OK. This is why labeling your child’s emotions works wonders. In our house, we’ve even been labeling parents’ emotions.

Children need to understand that having their emotions and feelings is perfectly normal

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