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Teaching Kids to Identify Their Emotions

 


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We are all a whirlwind of emotions that seem to jockey for position. As we reach adulthood through the calendar years and gain experience that can't quite be measured in such terms, we learn to identify them. For kids it's harder to identify their emotions.

Teaching kids to identify their emotions before they succumb to reaction is the job of the parents and adults -teachers, guidance counselors- raising the kids. It is most important to imbue a sound foundation for identifying and correcting their emotions so that they mature into rational adults who can control the emotions of anger, jealousy, before mania prompts them to act in a way that will be detrimental to themselves or society.

Many adults react without thought and that stems from a childhood and adolescence when they weren't made privy to the ramifications and causes of such emotions without identification and the correct interpretation. Understanding why one feels enraged when the car in front of them cuts them off or they miss an exit on the freeway and find themselves treating their steering wheel as if it were a punching bag, may reduce stress if they can consider why such a mundane act triggered that reaction, before their knuckles start bleeding.

Teaching kids to identify their emotions is a fundamental part of being a parent or guardian. As much as it may appear that the words aren't sinking in, parents should recognize that although behavior and response may not at first indicate that the words or ideas are getting through, repetition and talking to them, asking them questions about how they feel and why they think they do, offering answers that they may not have the vocabulary to explain, is stored in their minds and will assert itself at the appropriate time in the future.

However, if adults do not have the education to teach kids to identify their emotions, perhaps the PTAs of school districts can offer seminars for the parents and guardians. Those parents and guardians who have access to the internet can educate themselves as to the best course of action for addressing the concerns for their children.

It's not enough to tell kids to stay in school and progress through the ranks to college and beyond. Educating kids that it is important to graduate high school and go to college to get a well paying job is no more important for their lives as is identifying emotions. “The real world" beyond education is littered with many situations where self-control and self-interpretation of emotions is crucial in social networks in the workplace and in their personal life, which impact and influence each other.

Perhaps the most important lessons in life have less to do with the outside world and how it rolls on its axis and more to do with understanding ourselves and our own reactions.

Gary Pearson is an accomplished niche website developer and author.

To learn more about teaching kids visit My Raising Kids Online for current articles and discussions.

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