How many of you have grown up listening to the phrase, “Kids are to be seen and not to be heard” during your childhood days? Most of our generation has grown up on this principle only. That’s the reason why we are not able to express ourselves freely. No wonder stress and anxiety levels are increasing and also heart diseases are on the rise. Especially in today’s virtual world, humans are becoming more and more isolated from fellow beings and feeling happy that they are getting virtually connected. There is no harm in getting virtually connected, but they’re also unless we express our feelings, the burden in our heart wouldn’t lighten up. So by teaching children at an early age itself to identify their emotions and x-press themselves, we are paving their way towards a happy living.
If you ask anyone, which is the most popular feature in the social media world, most of them would pick up emoji’s isn’t it? Depending on their mood and styles, people do use customized emojis as well. Have you ever given a thought, as to why and where this craze about emojis came across? Have you ever observed, what your toddler/kid would do with the mobile phone when the chat windows were open? They try to send various emojis to any number which comes to their hand. The logic behind the kid’s action is the answer to the above question as well. “A picture is worth more than 1000 words”. Confused, isn’t it? Humans are conditioned to express their views and that’s the reason why God has given us the voice too. But, since we are conditioned, so as, not to raise our voice and wear our emotions on our sleeves, we don’t use words, but we use emojis to express our feelings.
So, as parents, we need to let go of some of the earlier generation parenting rules and include the new age principles. Of course, the elder people in the house might say that we are giving too much freedom to kids and spoiling them, but it’s required in this new age, as our kids have to live in a future world, which would be filled with a lot more uncertainties than today. Unless they are able to x-press themselves and make the bonding with others, these kids will not be able to survive in the new world.
Tips to teach self-expression or x-pressing themselves to Kids:
The following are few tips that parents can use to teach children to x-press themselves.
- Identify and Name the emotions: It always helps to teach the children the identification of different emotions and feelings one can have, with the help of an emotions chart. As they grow little elder, we can use the names to identify various emotions.
2. Establish a deeper connection with Kids: Parenting needs not to be limited to the transactional affair. The parents who have deeper bonds or connections with their kids will not be spending their whole time with the kids. Whenever they sit with their kids, they do give 100% of themselves without any distractions. That gives them the confidence to the kids that parents are always there for them and will listen to them when needed.
3. Open Communication: The communication channel between you and your child should always be open and non-judgemental. The kids should have the confidence that parents are not going to judge them or lecture them when they try to share their feelings. In order to establish that connection, open communication is a must.
4. Play enact various situations: Younger kids will understand better if we play enact how to react to different emotions and express our feelings better.
5. Be a role model: Kids always learn by observing. If they see us hiding all our inner thoughts within us and suppressing them, without sharing, then they will not learn to share their thoughts. We need to share our thoughts, our emotions like hurt, disappointments, etc in front of them, then the kids would also learn the same.
There are a lot of books on SEL concepts as well as you-tube videos available and we can use those also along with the above-mentioned tips to teach children to x-press themselves clearly, without any inhibitions. By doing so, we are providing the right environment for the kids to develop into happy, confident adults, who are ready to conquer the world.