One Skill Every Child Needs to Learn: Predicting Feelings to Reduce Conflict and Suffering

Do you ever wish your little (or big) one would just take a second to consider how they are going to make you feel? I know I sure do.

For example, my husband recently ordered a pizza and failed to consider whether or not I would eat a Hawaiian Pizza… and be happy about it. Yes, of course I will eat any pizza that is put in my face. No, I would NEVER choose to order a Hawaiian pizza because I think it is very odd to add fruit to a pizza!

My reaction? “Did you even CONSIDER my choice of pizza when placing the order?”

If I was going out to dinner with my friends and I left him to fend for himself, then I would be cheering him on while he ordered his favorite dish. But, he was in charge of grabbing dinner for the FAMILY. He was in charge of considering the likes and reactions of his family members.

That word – CONSIDER. THAT is the keyword!

Believe it or not, predicting feelings is something that we teach in the classroom when we are discussing social and emotional learning. We explicitly teach our students to consider how we will make another person feel as a result of our words and actions.

OUR WORDS AND ACTIONS ARE SOOOO BEYOND POWERFUL! We can use our words and actions to spread kindness, or we can use our power to put others down or upset them.

I always tell my students that the key to having friends and living a “drama free” life is to master the skill of predicting feelings. Once this is mastered, you will be someone that people love to be around. Why? Because you are considerate. Because you are empathetic.

These lessons spread far beyond the classroom. Predicting feelings can make all the difference when you are dealing with issues involving family at home.

Maybe your child is leaving their toys all over the living room floor. If you can teach them to have empathy and to predict your reaction (and the feelings behind your reaction), they will slowly begin to make changes that will benefit you AND them!

Remember this is a skill that takes PRACTICE. It will take YOU reminding your child to predict feelings… and you reminding them OFTEN. Don’t let that discourage you. Keep practicing this skill, and it will become second nature to your amazing little one.

Need help teaching this lesson? Check out my YouTube Channel: Kids Choose Kind. I post Social and Emotional Educational Videos 3x a week! My videos are a great supplement to at home learning 🙂

For now, share this video with your little one and with EVERYONE who can benefit <3

Where do you see this lesson having the biggest impact on your little one? (With family, with friends, at school, etc?) Let me know in the comments!

Also, be sure to subscribe and share my blog and YouTube channel with friends and family!

Jocelyn Soliz is an educator, certified Yoga teacher for adults and children, and a mother to a feisty toddler. Read Jocelyn’s inspiring comeback story, “Medicated to Meditated.” Feel free to send Jocelyn a message here

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