On of our recent M&J Date Night, my son I went to see Disney's Inside Out. I am not sure if I loved the movie more than him, but I thought it was such a great depiction of feelings and emotions for children!
Children deal with many of the same emotions as adults do. Children can get angry, sad, frustrated, nervous, happy, or embarrassed too; however, they often do not have the words to talk about how they are feeling which leads to acting out these emotions in very physical and inappropriate ways. You can help your child understand and express his emotions in very simple, yet consistent ways.
Name feelings your child expresses and then encourage him to talk about how he is feeling. By labeling these feelings, children build their vocabulary for future conversations.
Give children lots of opportunities to identify feelings in themselves and others that are acceptable to your family. Children learn through play best, so during activities, outings, and while reading, use this as a way to explore feelings. For example, when Kate is riding her bike and smiling, you can say, "You seem to enjoy riding your bike. Does riding your bike make you feel happy?"
Talk with your children about different ways YOU deal with feelings. By letting your child know that you have similar feelings helps him to understand that he is not unlike others. Moreover, children model what they see so if you lash out with screaming and hitting when you are angry, there is a likelihood that your child will too. Be the standard for which you desire your child to follow.
Lastly, avoid punishment when children express themselves inappropriately. Children need to feel loved when they are expressing "sad", "mad", or "angry" feelings. It helps them to feel that they are lovable and worthy of your time and praise. Remember that children can only show what they know. Be patient and practice understanding... because they are watching you too!