Children experience many different emotions during the day. You can help your baby
express feelings by using concept words when your baby is experiencing the feeling.
Labeling feelings can give your baby a way to express them with fewer tantrums and tears.
RECOGNIZE your child's emotions.
NAME the emotion.
DESCRIBE why they are feeling the emotion.
When parents help their babies label their feelings, it shows that parents are really listening and understanding. In the examples below, the phrases in the right column give the feeling a word and talk about why the baby has this feeling. This supports concept development.
Remember to help expand the vocabulary. Use different feeling words and mix it up – don't overuse the basics (happy, sad, mad). What else can we say?
"You are so
SAD. You wanted to play with that toy."
UPSET. You were not ready to share."
"That makes you
UNHAPPY when you can't have your toy."
"Are you a
SCARED of the puppy? I will pet him first."
"Yes, his bark is loud. That
FRIGHTENS you. I will pet him…I think he is friendly."