Proceedings of The International Conference on Advanced Research in Education
Have You Ever Felt That Way? Parents Asking Questions About Feelings and Emotions
Dr.Mari Riojas-Cortez, Dr. Tivy Nobles Whitlock
Being able to express and label emotions is critical for children as this helps with selfregulation.The ability to self-regulate helps children to make friends, solve problems and be mindful. Mindfulness is taught by parents and varies across families and cultures (Erwin & Robinson, 2016). When children are mindful they learn to be aware of others and be sensible which develops into empathy skills. Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of others(Decety, Meidenbauer & Cowell, 2018). Parents play an important role in the development of empathy as they teach children to identify their own feelings and emotions when taking others’perspectives. As such, parent-child interactions have a critical role in the development of social skills (Gadaire, Henrich & Finn-Stevenson, 2016) particularly when discussing feelings and emotions. This study used Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory as a framework to analyze how adults guide children to identify feelings and emotions. Data was collected at a children’s museum in a major city in south central Texas. Ninety parents and their 3-5-year-olds participated in a 10-minute prompt. Each session was videotaped and later coded. The prompt included PowerPoint slides with photos depicting feelings and emotions. Parents were asked to use the questions on each slide or to ask their own questions. Findings indicate that emotion, description, expression,inquiry, and elaboration are important to elicit children’s elaboration regarding their own feelings during parent-child interactions. Findings also show the importance of parents using appropriate vocabulary to identify feelings and emotions when interacting with children.
Keywords: mindfulness; empathy; social skills; parent-child interactions; self-regulation.