THREE. This is the year of emotions. The big emotions of our tiny humans. I never imagined what it would be like being a mother to a three year old. It’s like once you’re expecting, you don’t necessarily think about the years ahead. Many expectant mothers are laser focused on those precious firsts, baby’s first smile, baby’s first food, baby’s first tooth and so on. But what about the subsequent years, unless you’re THAT MOM who reads about the first five years of your child’s life or interested in child psychology, you probably don’t know what to expect.
Well, I might be THAT MOM, have a keen interest in child psychology and I still wasn’t expecting my daughter to express her emotions so fluently. It’s almost like it happened overnight, she turned three and then BOOM! She was overwhelmed with a flood of emotions.
What made it even more shocking is she’s never attended any daycare/school programs where more than likely, she would have developed these social-emotional skills.
It started shortly after her third birthday, I noticed she was more expressive of her feelings and emotions. She would say things like: “Mommy, I scared.”, “Mommy, I happy.”, “Mommy, I so angry.”, “Mommy, I sad.”, “Mommy, I excited.”. All of which she used in the correct context depending on the situation. Being able to comfort her and help her to navigate through these emotions is such a rewarding feeling. To know she feels comfortable to express herself and can identify those feelings is a crucial step in her development, socially and emotionally.
Emotional development is an important aspect of the preschooler stage. From learning to express their feelings and show emotion to being able to regulate their emotions and understand the feelings of others.
The development of children varies and some children struggle to understand and express their emotions at this stage, there are ways you can support your child.
- Label and discuss words for different feelings and emotions
- Explain to your child that it’s okay to feel and express their emotions
- Talk regularly with your child about emotions and feelings, not just their own but yours as well.
- Read books and discuss the different emotions and facial expressions of the characters, discuss the context of the their feelings and why they might be feeling that way.
When did you first notice your child start to express to his/her emotions? Let’s chat! Share your experience/thoughts in the comments!