How to get kids to talk about their feelings

(1-minute read)

Emotion Webs

I’d like to go back to offering regular, common strategies that not only help us at a time of war but at any time our children have strong emotions.

Since I wish to practice what I preach, namely, going back to routines and structure, here goes…

(By the way, it’s not a contradiction to feel sad, worried, and heartbroken about the news, AND to go back to routines. We can do BOTH at the same time.)

This is one of my favorite, go-to strategies that I’ve modeled in these blogs before. It’s a good reminder to use it again now if you have a child who has strong feelings about the war, or bedtime, or tests, or friends, or OCD, or school, or the bus, or anything else for that matter.

It’s a simple technique. All you need is paper and markers.

Create an emotion web in which the child lists her feelings about a given topic, and also gives reasons or explanations for the particular feeling.

There are no right or wrong feelings; all feelings are welcome. If a child gives a reason or explanation that doesn’t match the feeling, teach them the name of the emotion that matches better. This will help expand their emotion vocabulary.

For example, if a child says that she is ‘scared’ because her friend didn’t invite her to a party, you might want to explain the feeling of ‘rejected’ and check if that is what she’s really feeling. Or, the child might clarify why she’s scared, and you’ll write that explanation instead.

Here is a sample Emotion Web about Israel.

If your child shares her feelings and you’re not sure how to respond, watch the workshop on validating feelings to learn this important skill!

Get your child to feel comfortable opening up to you!

To join my free Social Skills and Behavioral Tips Whatsapp group, click here.

P.S. I did not forget about the workshops for parents and professionals. I’m preparing for several school trainings that are happening in the next couple of weeks. Once that is done, I’ll focus on the Zoom classes.

Have a peaceful week!


Dr. Devora

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