Friday, October 30, 2015

How to Help Children Express Their Emotions

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of My Happy Pillow.
All opinions are 100% mine.

Often times my kids become frustrated because they can’t find the words or they haven’t been given the opportunity to express themselves.  When a child is upset, sad, scared, or happy, it is important to encourage them to express their emotions. 
Some tips for helping kids express their feelings include:
  • Reading books with them.  Some titles I like include The Way I Feel series from Cornelia Maude Spelman.  The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen is another favorite.  As you read, you can ask questions such as: How do you think this character is feeling? You can also use stuffed animals, dolls, or puppets to help act out the emotions. 
  • Talking with them about different emotions.  Use words like happy, sad, and frustrated when helping them work through their feelings.  For instance, remind them that Mommy gets upset when she bumps her head.  When do you get upset? 
  • Show children emotion cards or pictures and talk about each one.  Children can use the cards to draw an ‘emotion journal’ where they use text such as I feel….when….. They can also use the journal and cards to non-verbally express how they feel. 
Kids themselves have a lot of insight on this matter too!

Recently, I was given the opportunity to talk with Isabella, a seven-year-old and the creator of
My Happy Pillow.  My Happy Pillows are cute, character pillows with one expression on one side and another feeling on the other. The lovable pillows provide a source of comfort for children. In addition, it has helped make bedtime less of a battle at my house.   Recently, My Happy Pillow won the Dr. Toys Best Picks award for children's products for 2015! 

To help parents understand how to help children express themselves and to learn more about the young creator of My Happy Pillow, Isabella was gracious enough to answer the following questions:

Me: How did you come up with the idea for My Happy Pillow? 
Isabella: I wanted to make something that other kids could play with and show how they're feeling. (happy or mad, and how each face looks).

Why is it important for kids to be able to express themselves non-verbally?
Isabella: Sometimes, it’s hard to explain what you're feeling.

How did you choose the emotions on the Happy Pillows?
Isabella: It’s how I feel the most or what my friends and I talk about the most. It’s how I feel most often.

What helps you calm down when you are upset?  
Isabella: The best is when I can talk to my mom. Having something to help me explain myself like the pillows still helps.

In your opinion, how can parents help children who are scared at night?
Isabella: Just being with them and making them feel safe and letting them talk.

Do you have a favorite My Happy Pillow character?
Isabella: Rosie the dog and Zee the monkey.

What helps you fall asleep at night?
Isabella: Having my mom there with me and all of my pillows and toys.

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs like yourself?
Isabella: My mom always helps me take chances and not be scared and just do stuff.

How do you help your kids express their emotions?

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