When your child tells you they are feeling sad. Spend time exploring their story and let them know that you have heard it and understood it. You can do this by retelling it using words that they can understand. Use this retell as an opportunity to introduce them to other feeling words that describe their feelings – this can be a word they are unfamiliar with – as this is a great opening to increase their “feeling vocabulary.”
Once you feel your child is satisfied that you have understood their story and their feelings, you can elaborate, using questions like “Have you felt like this at another time?” or “How do you think the other child felt?” or “Why do you think they behaved that way.” These questions put your child in the mindset to learn from their experiences and to problem-solve.