Social Skills for Talking About Feelings

Mom talking with daughters about feelings

Talking about feelings can be difficult for children, but it is important for their emotional development and can help them connect with their peers. We have the tips and tools to help you teach your child or student how to talk about their feelings.

First, here are a few social skills tips for caregivers and educators to help your child or student open up about their feelings: 

  • Create a safe and supportive environment: Make sure your child or student feels comfortable and safe. Create an open and non-judgmental space where they feel heard and understood.
  • Be a good listener: Listen actively and attentively to what the child is saying. Try to understand their perspective and validate their emotions.
  • Normalize emotions: Help the child understand that all emotions are normal and that it’s okay to feel sad, angry, or frustrated sometimes.

Once your child or student feels like they are in a safe, caring environment, you can teach them why sharing their feelings is important and how it can help. Here are a few important lessons to share with them: 

  • Think about a situation that made you feel strong emotions – write it down or draw a representation of how you felt and what made you feel that way. 
  • Encourage them to seek out a friend or adult to talk to about their feelings. It won’t make the problem disappear, but it might make them feel better to share their worries with someone who may be able to help. 

Don’t forget to practice regularly! Make talking about feelings a regular part of your conversations with your child or student. This will help them build emotional awareness and develop strong communication skills.

Remember, it takes time and patience to help a child talk about their feelings. With practice and support, your child may feel more comfortable with expressing themselves over time.

The special education resources on this page were authored by Watson Institute’s special education consultant, Andee Morris, M.Ed.

Powerpoint Presentation:

Talking About How I Feel PowerPoint

Talking About How I Feel Facilitator’s Guide

Resource Materials:

Talking About Feelings Lesson Outline

Talking About Feelings Parents Note

Talking About Feelings Teachers Note

Talking About Feelings Activity

Talking About Feelings – This Week I Might Try Homework Paper

Talking About Feelings Magnet Cards

Talking About Feelings What’s Happening Today Checklist

Pre/Post Assessment

A pre and post lesson assessment is included in each lesson. Use of the assessment is an instructor preference.  Many of the ‘homework’ pages for a lesson can be used as a pre/post assessment device alone or as part of the provided assessment.  Each homework page can be checked by the instructor as well as the student.

Review all included pages of the lesson to determine what ‘assessment’ method will meet your needs.  If the student is able to achieve a + in the majority of items of the pre-assessment, or if the student has been observed to display the skill topic of the lesson often, then the lesson may not be introduced or can be taught with a group as review and/or reinforcement.

Talking About How I Feel Pre/Post Assessment

If you have questions or concerns about the Watson Institute’s use of this information, please contact us.