Family Services

Expressing Emotions

Your emotional health is a very important part of your overall health. It’s healthy to express emotions, but often people don’t know how. As a result they can hold in their feelings. This can eventually lead to unhealthy behaviours or physical conditions such as eating disorders, substance abuse, anxiety or depression.

Children experience many different emotions throughout their development. As a parent, you can help children understand and talk about how they are feeling and teach them how to express their emotions in a healthy way. This is especially important if the child is experiencing a major change.

You can start with something as basic as identifying the emotion they are feeling – sadness, anger, frustration, fear. Sometimes role-plays help such as acting out through a puppet show or with dolls.

If you think your child is having emotional issues, talk to your local health care provider. You can also talk to your Community Social Services Worker, wellness counselor or someone else you trust – like a family or community member, or teacher or Elder.

Resources

Sacred Children: Communication Fact Sheet (PDF)

Sacred Children: Self-Esteem Fact Sheet (PDF)

Links

Canadian Living – How to Help Your Kids Express Their Emotions

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health – Raising Resilient Children and Youth

Mind Your Mind -- A place for youth and emerging adults to access info, resources and tools during tough times.

Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development


Books in Your Community

For Adults

The Way I Feel, Janan Cain.

For Children and Youth

My Book Full of Feelings: How to Control and React to the Size of Your Emotions, Amy Jaffe and Luci Gardner.