Identifying and Expressing Emotions
In order for your child to understand other people's emotions, they must first understand their own. Teaching your child about feelings doesn't have to be a deliberate lesson or be separate from your daily activities. Day-to-day situations provide the best opportunities for your child to develop emotionally and make real-life connections. If you make an effort to point out how your child seems to be feeling about a situation, you will help them become aware and build the vocabulary they need to express themselves.
When your child is struggling with a new task try saying something like, "Your eyebrows are down and your mouth is frowning like this (make a frown). That must be hard to do. You look frustrated." By acknowledging facial expression and body language you are helping your child make connections. When your child can connect a feeling with the words that go with it, they will be able to understand emotions expressed by others. There are also many songs, games and activities that help young children identify and express feelings. A song I taught the children in my preschool classroom is a variation of "If You're Happy and You Know It."
If you're sad and you know it, cry some tears "Boo-hoo" If you're mad and you know it tell a friend "I'm mad!"
If you're excited and you know it do a dance (dance in place)... and so on.
It's a fun song that you can easily sing at home and "tweak" if you feel the need.
Teaching about feelings can be fun and rewarding for you and your child. As your child develops understanding of emotions in themselves and others they will grow in their ability to solve problems.