A feelings chart uses expressive faces to assist children in explaining their feelings. Because children often struggle with explaining their feelings, they may act out inappropriately. Children generally do not have the ability to easily recognize and discuss what they feel until they reach early adolescence, so the feelings chart helps children identify and connect with an emotion.
The chart is constructed to reflect a child's personality and placed in a conspicuous place, such as the child's room. The child takes time each day to review the chart with a parent, discussing moments in the day when the child experienced various feelings. The child may choose one face or many to reflect emotional reactions.
Therapists use feelings charts in their sessions, particularly with children. The therapist has the child match a feeling word to a feeling face. This opens up the opportunity for the therapist and child to process the feeling by identifying some things that leads to the child feeling that way. This can help the therapist assess the child's emotional expression and help identify any emotional triggers.
Feelings charts are also used in implementing discipline for children. It is helpful for children to be able to identify the feelings that come with specific behaviors, helping them to better understand how to change their behavior in the future.