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Kids Can

How Are You Feeling?

happy boy

thought bubble 

Kids can build good social skills such as working together, helping others, and developing friendships by learning to express their feelings in healthy ways.

  • All feelings are normal.
  • Feelings, like fear, can be real or imaginary.
  • Children need to learn to express their feelings in ways that do not hurt themselves or others.
  • Everyone feels anger, frustration, fear or jealousy from time to time.
  • Being comforted over and over teaches your child that people recover from bad feelings.

thought bubble    Here’s how you can help your child deal with their feelings:

    Are you sad Anna has the doll? It’s okay to want toys that other people have but it’s not okay to take them. We must treat people and things the way we’d like to be treated.
  • Be an example in the way that you express your feelings.
  • Allow your child to say how they feel.
  • Let them know that you understand how they feel.
  • Talk about good ways to deal with those feelings.
  • Remind them of past successes.

quiz icon Quiz

  1. Your child won’t go to bed because she thinks there’s a monster in the closet.  What is the best plan?

    a) Go to bed, I don’t want to hear another word from you.
    b) Don’t be silly there’s nothing to be afraid of.
    c) I understand, thinking that would be scary. Let’s go check out your closet.

     The best answer is ‘C’. Don’t dismiss a child’s feelings; help them to work through their fears.
     The best answer is ‘C’. Don’t dismiss a child’s feelings; help them to work through their fears.

Dealing with anger

angry boy

When your child gets angry you could say something like, “It’s okay to be mad, but it’s not okay to hit. Hitting hurts people.”

Teach them ways to calm down:

  • Taking a deep breath.
  • Making a quiet spot for them to sit.
  • Blowing bubbles.
  • Opening their hands while counting their fingers.
  • Repeating a fun chant like “1-2-3 calm, cool me.”

Dealing with frustration

frustrated boy
  • When your child is frustrated you could say something like, “Learning to tie your shoe is hard. It takes practice. Being upset is okay, but throwing your shoe is not. You might break something.”
  • Use one of the calming tips.
  • Remind them about a time when they did a good job. “Remember the alphabet puzzle? You tried and tried and now you can put it together all by yourself.”
  • Break tasks into small steps.
  • Show your child how to tie a shoe, assist them in looping the laces and guide them as they try to do it.

Dealing with fear

girl covering her ears
  • When your child is afraid you could say something like, “I can see you are afraid of the spider. Sometimes they can be scary. Let’s think about what we could do instead of screaming and running away?”
  • Find ways to help your child cope with their fear, e.g. teach them the‘Eensy Weensy Spider’ song, find story books with friendly spiders (Charlotte’s Web) at the library, make pipe cleaner spiders in fun colours, or go on a spider hunt at the park looking for webs and spiders at a safe distance.
  • Give your child time to make small steps, allowing them to, little by little let go of their fear.

Dealing with jealousy

twins fighting over a doll
  • Get down to your child’s level and suggest she ask Mary for a turn when Mary is done playing with the doll.

  • Set rules with your child such as,
    • Share with others.
    • Show kindness and respect.
    • Don’t take what someone else is playing with.
    • No stealing.
      Set consequences for not following the rules, visit positive discipline for ideas.
  • Tell your child about something you really wanted.  Explore solutions for something they want.
    • Earn it.
    • Ask for it as a birthday gift.
    • Go to the play centre and share the toys there.
mum reading a story and talking about feelings


  • Look at faces in story books, magazines, neighborhood newspapers… Ask your child, “How do you think this person feels?” Help or direct when needed. “Do you think they are sad? What could they do to feel better?”


Make Your Own Monster!
Design your own monster with his or her own feelings!