Help your child open up and talk about feelings and emotions

Our AMH MensSana team have been sharing their wisdom this week during Children’s Mental Health Week – here are their top tips to help your child open up and start talking about how they are feeling.

Encourage discussion and lead by example

Good conversations often happen when you are doing something else with your child/young person for example out walking, driving somewhere, painting/drawing together or cooking/baking. Children and young people often open up in the middle of doing other things. Make the most of your time together to talk. Sometimes it can be difficult to get your child/young person to open up so lead by example – talk about your day.

Could be images of doing these activities together.


Journaling can help children and young people process feelings and communicate ideas through art and writing.

How to start journaling

  • Let your child or YP choose a book to journal in – explain this is a place to record thoughts and feelings. Your child/Young person can be as creative as they like they might draw pictures, write letters or stories.
  • Get a pen/pencil if your child or Young person wants to get creative – coloured pens/pencils, coloured papered, glue and scissors.

Worry Jar

A worry Jar is a place for your child to put their worries so they don’t have to keep thinking about them. Enabling Children to open up and talk about how they are feeling


  • Find a glass, plastic jar, or a box and have your child decorate it. Ask your child to label it (e.g., Sabrina’s Worry Jar).
  • Once the jar is completed, cut up strips of paper Tell your child to write down all their worries, explaining how they can’t be in their head and the jar at the same time. 10 to 15 minutes a day after school but not right before bed to be worry time.
  • Every now and then they can take a worry out and tackle it head on.
  • When the worry is gone they can throw it away.
  • They can add and remove as many worries as they want.

Feelings Scavenger Hunt

A feelings scavenger hunt can help your child learn about different emotions.

1) Obtain images representing different emotions.

2) Cut out the images and hide them.

3) Make a list of all the emotions your kid needs to find

4) When he finds a card, ask him to name at least one thing that makes him feel like the emotion displayed.

Reading about feelings

For younger children using books to describe feelings and asking your child a time that they might have felt this emotion- starts conversations about emotions and feelings.

The Way I am Feeling Janan Cain is a brilliant book beautifully illustrated, below is a link to it being read.

Donate to AMH

Make a secure, online donation to AMH or set up a fundraising page through Just Giving.

Make a Donation

Set up a Direct Debit

Set up a JustGiving Fundraising Page


Step inside Action Mental Health and you'll find talented people working together to improve the lives of everyone living with mental health needs.

View all careers