Feelings can overwhelm kids, especially difficult ones to process. Read these children’s books about feelings to help your child cope.
Many of the challenges with our young children stem from their inability to process big emotions the way you and I can.
The tightening of the chest and the awful, cloudy feeling are difficult to understand. They can’t figure out why they feel the way they do now that the new baby is here. They might even believe they’re the only ones who feel this way, or that they’re somehow “bad” for doing so.
And so, they act up or hit instead of communicating because these feelings are too confusing for them.
That is, until we define these feelings and label them so they know that they’re normal. You might tell your child that he feels anger, grief, or sadness so he can begin to put words to these feelings. You can also point out happier feelings like pride and joy.
As he builds his vocabulary of feelings, he realizes that they come and go. That they don’t define who he is and has nothing to feel ashamed of. He develops the skills to cope and understands that everyone goes through them at some point.
Over the years, he learns to handle feelings and the proper ways to express them. He recognizes the physical sensations that come with each feeling. From feeling silly and happy to downright grumpy and frustrated, everyone feels a vast range of moods and emotions.
What better way to boost that knowledge than by reading children’s books about feelings at an early age? He meets other characters who feel the way he does and sees how they get through them in a positive way. And you get to discuss these topics without risking him feeling attacked or scolded.
Take a look at my top selections of picture books about feelings to read together:
Children’s books about feelings
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Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney
Way Past Jealous by Hallee Adelman
Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival
Big Feelings by Alexandra Penfold
Wilma Jean The Worry Machine by Julia Cook
Sometimes I’m Bombaloo by Rachel Vail
The Color Monster by Anna Llenas
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids by Tom Rath
My Body Sends a Signal by Natalia Maguire
Today I Feel Silly by Jamie Lee Curtis
The Feelings Book by Todd Parr
Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberley
The Boy with Big, Big Feelings by Britney Winn Lee
How Are You Peeling? by Saxton Freymann
B Is for Breathe by Melissa Munro Boyd
On Monday When It Rained by Cherryl Kachenmeister
Baby Happy Baby Sad by Leslie Patricelli
Lots of Feelings by Shelly Rotner
Tough Guys Have Feelings Too by Keith Negley
Read these next:
- Stranger Anxiety in Toddlers: 5 Things Every Parent Should Know
- 8 Keys to Explaining Emotions to Your Child
- How to Stop Children from Biting
- How Teaching Kids about Emotions Reduces Misbehavior
- Little Ways You’re Judging Your Child’s Emotions
Free resource: Want even more book ideas? Join my newsletter and grab your copy of the Read Aloud Book List! You’ll get hundreds of favorite selections to read aloud with your kids. Get it below—at no cost to you:
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