Teaching children the language they need to be able to express their feelings will support them to manage their emotions, and begin to recognise the feelings of others.
You can use books to help you do this. Many children's stories include feelings, and some are good at explaining more complicated emotions to children. When you read these books to your child, you’ll help them learn how to speak about their own feelings.
- When you read together make comments and ask your child questions about how the characters are feeling. How do you think he/she is feeling? Have you ever felt like that?
- Use the pictures to support your conversations.
- It's important to talk about positive feelings (such as happy, excited, calm) as well as negative ones; this will support your child to recognise that all the different feelings they have are important, and that it's good to talk about all of them.
- When you talk about negative feelings, such as a character being sad, worried, scared or angry, talk about how they might be helped to feel better, or what they could do to make themselves feel better.
Books about feelings
Some titles you could try are:
- Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
- Meesha Makes Friends by Tom Percival
- Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
- The Invention by Julia Hubery, illustrated by James Munro
- How Do You Feel? by Anthony Browne
For more suggestions Explore our happiness and wellbeing booklist.
You can also visit your local library, and ask the librarian to help you find books on specific subjects.
Good to know
Reading about emotions is a safe way for children to explore their feelings and understand that it’s okay to experience different types of feelings.