Coping With Big Feelings

Encourage kids to talk with grown-ups when they feel sad.

Watch this video together, then talk about the big feelings, like sadness and anger, that Elmo and Jesse have about Uncle Jack dying. Let children know that it’s okay to feel lots of different feelings, and that these feelings may come and go.

Many little ones don’t yet have words to express their feelings. This can be frustrating and cause them to act out. Pictures can be great tools to help children learn words that describe emotions. Make a “feeling faces” collage together. Look through magazines and cut out pictures of people with various expressions: happy, confused, worried, joyful, angry, proud, disappointed, excited, and so on. Glue the pictures to a large sheet of paper and label each. When children are having trouble expressing their feelings, invite them to point to a face that shows how they are feeling. Talk together about how they’re feeling and why.