Parents Plus & Parents First Psychology Led Service

Supporting young children with their feelings during uncertain times

The Problem with Questions

It can be tricky for young children to answer questions such as:

  • ‘What are you feeling?’
  • ‘Why did you do that?’

They don’t always know why they did something or have the words to tell us how they feel.

The Benefits of Wondering and Naming Feelings

Children can benefit from us wondering about their feelings and naming them.

Being open and curious about their feelings reduces the child’s stress.

We might not always get it right, and they may not understand all our words, but our tone of voice and body language will show them that we are trying our best to understand them.

This will help them understand their own feelings and help them develop the words to tell people how they feel as they grow older.

It’s just as helpful to wonder and notice positive, as well as negative, feelings.

Examples of Wondering & Naming Feelings

I think maybe you’re feeling sad because you miss Nanny, let’s give her a call.

You are throwing things. I think you feel very upset and angry right now. It’s OK to feel that way but it’s not OK to hurt people, let’s put these away until later.

What a lovely smile. I think you are really happy to see me.

Created by Educational Psychologists at Cardiff Parenting Service

For more information, advice or support please contact Cardiff Family Gateway:

Telephone: 03000 133 133

Email ContactFAS@Cardiff.gov.uk

Online: www.Cardifffamilies.co.uk 

Adapted from ‘Fact sheet for parents: coronavirus/children/ mental health’.

Association for Infant Mental Health (April 2020)

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