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3–5 YEARS USING FACIAL AND NON-VERBAL EXPRESSIONS

3–5 YEARS USING FACIAL AND NON-VERBAL EXPRESSIONS

Decoded message:

I can’t express in words what I am feeling at the moment.
I need you to help me put words on my feelings.

Suggested actions:

Adapting your actions to be more receptive

Be receptive to your child’s messages, even though they may not always be clear.
It may be difficult for him to express what he feels in words.
He continues to use gestures and expressions to express his needs.
He may sometimes seem very happy or sad, be red with anger or look scared.
Your child will feel understood and this will give him a feeling of security..

Staying close

Talk with your child.
Children of all ages need to be spoken to: it is crucial to their development.
Talk to your child about his day. Help him put words on what he feels or wants.
He may not know exactly what that is. It is up to you to help him figure it out.
Show him that you are concerned about what happens to him.

Protecting/Taking charge

Explain to your child that it is normal to have emotions and that these may be difficult to express.
Help him put words on his emotions by identifying them.
When children feel that their parents feel the same as they do, their trust grows.
With time, they will follow your example and react as you do.

Promoting play

Encourage your child to draw faces showing various emotions (happy, sad, angry, shy, crying, etc.)
Read or invent stories where feelings and emotions are discussed by name: “You see, the little boy looks angry” and explain that feeling to him.
Talk about your own feelings.
You may tell him “Mommy was sad too when daddy went away for a few days.”
However, do not make him bear the weight of your emotions!