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Empower Your Child's Emotional Growth

As parents, we embark on a beautiful journey with our children, witnessing their growth and development at every step.

Along this path, we encounter moments of joy, laughter, and love, but we also face challenges and complexities that can be overwhelming.

As our children grow and navigate new emotions, they may struggle to find the right words to express what's happening inside. That's where the "Feeling Wheel" becomes an invaluable tool – a compass guiding the ups and downs of emotions in our homes or even during car rides.

We want to help our kids to develop their emotional literacy and learn how to describe emotions beyond "Happy," "Sad," "Mad," and "Scared." When we ask our children how they feel, their answers are often limited.

"Happy," "Sad," "Mad," and "Scared" are fundamental emotions, but the richness of our emotional landscape extends far beyond these four labels. The Feeling Wheel unlocks a treasure trove of emotions, giving our children a vocabulary to express themselves more fully.

Putting a name to a feeling is crucial for children of all ages. It empowers them to recognize, understand, and navigate their emotions effectively.

Here's why it's so important:

Self-Awareness: Identifying and naming emotions allows children to develop self-awareness. When they can label their feelings, they gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their emotional responses to various situations.

Emotional Regulation: Once children can identify their feelings, they are better equipped to regulate their emotions. They can learn healthy coping mechanisms to manage challenging emotions and avoid impulsive reactions.

Communication: Having a vocabulary to express their emotions helps children communicate more effectively with others. Instead of acting out or shutting down, they can use words to articulate how they feel, leading to better communication and healthier relationships.

Empathy and Understanding: Putting a name to a feeling benefits not only the child expressing it but also those around them. When children can express their emotions clearly, it helps others understand their perspectives and respond with empathy and support.

Problem-Solving: Understanding their emotions allows children to problem-solve more effectively. They can identify the root causes of their feelings and work towards finding solutions or seeking support when needed.

Emotional Resilience: Knowing that emotions are a normal part of life and that it's okay to experience a range of feelings builds emotional resilience. Children become more adaptable and better equipped to handle life's ups and downs.

The Family Dinner Activity

Imagine sitting around the dinner table, sharing not only food but also experiences and emotions.

Here's how the activity works:

Introduce the Feeling Wheel: Begin by explaining the Feeling Wheel to your children. Show them how the wheel is divided into various segments, each representing a different emotion. Highlight that there are more ways to describe their feelings beyond the basic emotions they're familiar with.

Daily Emotion Sharing: Encourage each family member to take turns sharing an emotion they experienced during the day. They can use the Feeling Wheel as a guide to help them identify their specific emotion. For instance, instead of just saying, "I'm happy," they might say, "I'm feeling content and grateful."

Emotion Exploration: After identifying the emotion, encourage the person sharing to briefly explain why they felt that way. This opens up an opportunity for discussion and connection. Other family members can also offer empathy, share similar experiences, or provide support if needed.

No Judgment Zone: Emphasize that the activity is a safe space where everyone's feelings are respected. Whether the emotion is positive or challenging, it's essential for children to feel comfortable sharing without fear of judgment.

 Remember, emotional intelligence is a lifelong skill, and parent's active involvement in using the Feeling Wheel can have a profound and lasting impact on their children's emotional development. Through regular practice and open communication, children learn to navigate their own emotions and develop confidence and emotional resilience that will serve them well throughout their lives.

You can download a copy of the Feeling Wheel I use with my clients and the girls in The Brave Girl Tribe by clicking here. In my office, I love this version on a stand that kids can explore and look at. I also love this Feeling Wheel Tapestry that your daughter could hang in her bedroom. You could also get this three-magnet Feeling Wheel set to have one in the car and at home. This would be great for your dinner activity and to have one in the car, and they also make an excellent gift for teachers and counselors.

If you have questions, I am here to chat.

Schedule a chat today!


Laura Hayes




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