Happy Minds – Supporting Preschoolers’ Emotional Well-being

Happy Minds - Supporting Preschoolers' Emotional Well-being

As parents, have you ever found yourself wondering how to help your preschooler develop a positive and resilient mindset? Unravelling the mysteries of their emotions and thoughts can be both a challenge and an adventure. But it’s crucial to ensure that our little ones cultivate joyful minds and are ready to embrace the colourful spectrum of feelings and thoughts accompanying their early years.

In this captivating exploration, we’ll uncover practical strategies for Singaporean parents to nurture their preschoolers’ emotional well-being, setting the stage for a positive and resilient mindset.

1. Embracing Emotional Expression

Do you often find yourself wondering how to decode your preschooler’s feelings? Embracing and encouraging emotional expression is key to supporting their developing minds. It is vital to encourage children to express their emotions, whether they are happy, frustrated, or sad.

A helpful technique to help preschoolers understand and communicate their emotions is through storytelling. You can start by discussing the characters in books or movies with your child, asking them about their thoughts and feelings in a way appropriate for their age. 

Let’s say you’re reading the book “The Gruffalo” by Julia Donaldson with your preschooler. After reading about the mouse’s encounter with various animals in the forest, you could engage your child in a discussion about how the mouse might have felt in each situation.

For example, when the mouse meets the fox, you could ask, “How do you think the mouse felt when he saw the fox? Why do you think he felt that way?” This encourages your child to think about emotions and relate them to the story’s characters.

By making it normal to express emotions, you can provide your child with a solid foundation for healthy communication and a positive outlook on their mental health.

2. Mindful Moments for Little Minds

In the busy and hectic routine of everyday life, taking out some mindful moments for your preschooler’s busy mind is important.

Research has revealed the positive impact of mindfulness on children’s self-thoughts and feelings. The overall results of the research show an increase in positive social behaviours and a decrease in behaviours containing physical aggression and depressive emotion of participant children. Additionally, it was observed that children who participated in the mindfulness practice provided responses that include skills like identifying self-thoughts and feelings, controlling and accepting, determining behaviours upon the emotional state and establishing empathy and controlling negative behaviours. 

Simple activities like breathing exercises or quiet moments of reflection can help preschoolers develop resilience and focus.

To make it more effective, you can integrate mindfulness into your daily routines, such as before bedtime or during transitions. 

For example: Before bedtime with your children:

  • – Create a calming bedtime routine with your children that includes activities like reading a book, taking a warm bath, or listening to soft music.

  • – Once you’re all settled in bed or in a comfortable spot, invite your children to join you in a mindfulness practice.

  • – Encourage them to close their eyes and take a few deep breaths, guiding them to notice how their bodies feel as they breathe in and out.

  • – Use simple language to explain mindfulness to them, emphasizing the importance of being present in the moment and letting go of worries or distractions.

  • – Engage in a short guided meditation tailored to their age, such as imagining a favorite peaceful place or focusing on different parts of their bodies while they relax.

  • – After the meditation, invite them to share any thoughts or sensations they experienced without judgement, and praise them for their efforts.

  • – Finally, express gratitude together for the day and share a loving moment before wishing each other goodnight.

Practising mindfulness together equips your child with valuable tools to manage their thoughts and emotions, promoting a sense of calm and self-awareness.

3. Encouraging Positive Self-Talk

Have you noticed your preschooler engaging in self-talk? Positive self-talk is essential for developing happy minds in young children. As a parent, you can encourage your children to use positive affirmations and celebrate their achievements, no matter how small they are. 

Let’s say your preschooler is attempting to build a tower with blocks. You notice them talking to themselves as they play. You might say:

“I noticed you talking to yourself while building that tower! That’s great self-talk. Remember, when you say positive things like ‘I can do this’ or ‘I’m doing a great job,’ it helps you feel happy and confident. Keep up the good work!”

Using positive language and encouraging children to view mistakes as opportunities to learn and improve is important. Research suggests that positive self-talk can enhance problem-solving skills in young children. Promoting a positive mindset can equip your preschooler with the tools to tackle challenges confidently and develop a resilient attitude.

4. Cultivating a Safe Haven for Emotional Growth

Constructing a safe and secure environment is crucial to preschoolers’ emotional development. A sense of safety and security is necessary for children to have stable emotions. As parents, it’s essential to consider your home a sanctuary where your preschooler can express their thoughts and feelings and feel protected. 

You can establish consistent routines and clear boundaries to provide a sense of predictability that contributes to feelings of safety. Additionally, creating a cosy and quiet corner designated for your child to retreat when they need a moment to process their emotions will help foster a connection between emotional expression and a reassuring atmosphere. 

For example, you designate a corner of the living room as the “Cozy Corner.” You place a soft rug or mat on the floor, along with some plush pillows and a small bookshelf stocked with their favorite books. You might also include a soft blanket or stuffed animals for comfort.

You establish a routine where, whenever your child feels overwhelmed or upset, they know they can go to the Cozy Corner to calm down. You explain to them that it’s a special place just for them to relax and feel better.

When your child is upset, you gently remind them about the Cozy Corner. You might say, “It looks like you’re feeling upset right now. Would you like to go to the Cozy Corner for a little while to help you feel better?”

Your child learns that the Cozy Corner is a safe and comforting space where they can take a break to process their emotions. Over time, they start to associate emotional expression with seeking comfort in the Cozy Corner, fostering a connection between their feelings and a reassuring atmosphere.

Furthermore, responsive caregiving is important in creating a secure attachment between parents and preschoolers. Parents should respond promptly to their child’s emotional cues, whether it’s a shared joy or a moment of distress, reinforcing the idea that their feelings are acknowledged and valued in the safety of their home environment. 

By intentionally crafting a nurturing environment for emotional growth, you empower your preschooler to navigate their feelings and thoughts confidently, knowing they are supported throughout their developmental journey. This nurturing environment becomes a canvas for creating happy minds, resilient in the face of life’s emotional tapestry.


Supporting your preschooler’s feelings and thoughts is a journey that lays the groundwork for a happy and resilient mindset. Singaporean parents can nurture the development of happy minds in their little ones by embracing emotional expression, incorporating mindful moments, encouraging positive self-talk, and creating a safe environment and home. 

These early years are a crucial foundation for your child’s emotional well-being, and with the proper guidance, you can help them cope with the complexities of their feelings and thoughts with confidence and joy.

Mulberry Learning’s core programs also emphasise methods to help children nurture their emotional development so that they can acquire good habits through consistently revisiting the habits in lessons, playtime, mealtime, or during wash-up. We are the first preschool network in the world to be certified by The Institute for Habits of Mind. Learn more here.

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