Teaching young children to use their words is a well-known educational tool. These 3-words are meant to help kids express their feelings to lessen frustration. Parents and teachers can give children exact words to teach them how to manage new situations.
Kids, parents and grandparents get frustrated when you don’t understand. However, with kids, their emotions can be heightened, and they can’t tell you what the problem is. We must teach them to express themselves. That means giving them direction and model how to express themselves.
3 Strategies to Help Kids Use Their 3-Words
- Give kids “feelings” words to use and help them know “what” they are feeling.
- Role-play so they can practice how to use their words in different situations.
- Practice, Practice, Practice since all situations are not the same.
Finally, I caution you to be careful of what you ask for. You may be surprised to find your child sharing with you their honest opinion. I was told recently, by one of my grandkids, that he “sometimes thought I was mean”. Honestly, I was shocked and felt badly. However, I stepped back and realized that he was expressing his thoughts on my decision not to let him play with a toy. I acknowledged his feelings and once again explained my reasons for saying “No” to his request. I hope he understood my reasoning but realize that may not be the case. In the end, I was happy he had learned to use his words, but I still felt a little badly.
You may also find helpful
A great primer on language and toddlers. Gives short background on the importance of language and its role in reading. It also includes some brain research information to support the concepts.