5 Ways to Help Children Express Emotion

4 min read

Last Modified 31 August 2023 First Added 31 August 2023

Emotional development in children plays a key role in shaping their future selves. As parents and caregivers, our guidance in this journey is invaluable.

A child’s ability to express their emotions healthily not only helps them understand their thoughts and feelings but also fosters a stronger connection with the world around them.

However, this journey might not always be a smooth sail. Studies have shown that there is a link between children who struggle with expressing their emotions and behavioural problems in adolescence. Therefore, finding a healthy method is vital and that is where our support as parents and guardians comes into play.

1. Encourage Open Communication

Imagine a world where your child feels completely comfortable in discussing anything with you. By cultivating an environment of openness and communication, we give our children the opportunity of having a safe space to share their thoughts and process their emotions.

Let your little one know that it is okay to experience emotions, be it joy, frustration, excitement, or sadness. Genuine conversations between you and your family members will lay the foundation for emotional growth for everyone involved, especially your child.

Explore engaging resources such as baby and toddler books that can assist in nurturing these conversations while guiding your child’s emotional processing.

Family sitting together outdoors.

2. Validate Emotions

Validation can feel like a warm embrace for a child’s heart. Even if things don’t go as planned, acknowledging their emotions and life experiences fosters a sense of trust. This trust will build into a beautiful relationship once your child becomes a teen and eventually an adult.

Show empathy and honesty by helping them navigate and understand the complexities of learning how to express feelings (and let’s be honest, even adults can find this challenging). In doing so, we teach them that children’s emotions are valid and deserving of our attention.

3. Explore Creative Outlets

Link to music blog.

Arts and crafts can become a canvas for emotions that words often can’t capture. Encourage your little one with a creative outlet like colouringpainting or any arts and crafts for children.  These activities and outlets provide your child a platform to express themselves and visualise emotions that might be difficult for them to articulate.

Join them in dance, acting, singing or sports clubs. This will be a wonderful way for them to embark on their emotional journey. You can also have a read of our article 5 Ways Music Can Help Your Child Develop to discover more tips on how music can positively affect children’s emotions.

Mum singing with daughter

4. Bring Mindfulness into Play

Teaching your child mindfulness can equip them with lifelong tools for their emotional well-being. Simple techniques such as deep breathing and meditation empowers them to find calmness in the chaos.

As your child grows, these approaches and practices can become their anchors when they feel overwhelmed, lost, or mentally low. Have a read of our article “Teaching Your Child the Art of Meditation” for key tools and approaches in teaching your child mental stability.

5. Lead By Example

Children are remarkable observers, when we think they may not understand something, they most probably do, just in their own way. They can learn not only from our words, but our actions too.

As parents and guardians, we are the role models for emotional resilience, empathy and showcasing healthy coping mechanisms; setting powerful examples for our children to follow.

Guide your child by ensuring you too are practising healthy ways of expressing emotion.

Family in bed with daughter.


In summary, remember that perfection is not the goal; progress is.

Embracing our own imperfections and learning alongside our children creates an atmosphere safe for growth and acceptance. As our little one’s navigate the twists and turns of emotions, our unwavering support becomes their guiding light. Continue this heartwarming journey of nurturing development by exploring Raising Little Explorers for more insightful resources.

Your compassion can form a future where emotional expression thrives!

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