Emotional Literacy

What’s on this page?

Emotions are important when we learn

If we cant control them we learn less

There are ways to manage problems with our emotions

Why emotions matter when we learn

Most of us take emotions for granted. We don’t really ever stop to think about or analyse them. Having the words to describe how we feel is a really important part of a child’s development. Understanding our emotions and how to manage them is more complex, but important too. Sometimes children need extra help to develop Emotional Literacy and their ability to understand and deal with their emotions and those of others.

Modelling and talking about the words we use to describe different emotions and feelings can help children learn to identify and name their own emotions. Using pictures or acting out different facial expressions for different emotions, talking about how we feel at different times, can be fun ways of exploring and developing emotional vocabulary with your child.

Exploring emotions resources – How do you feel?  PDF or online view 

Emotion cards

Emotions board game

Mood Tracker

Children’s book about emotions … My Many Coloured Days by Dr Seuss

There are lots of different emotions that children may need support to understand and deal with. If you need advice on any emotions your child is having difficulty with, please contact us and we will discuss support ideas.

Anxiety

We can all become worried and anxious about things. Sometimes children can have difficulty dealing with anxious feelings, and this can overwhelm them. This can be debilitating, preventing them from being happy and able to achieve their potential. Sometimes anxieties can cause a child’s behaviour to change – making them withdraw or show more anger and lash out.  Recognising times that may cause anxiety in a child and how they show their anxiety is key to helping them.

Anxiety explained for kids – video

From Worry Monsters to Worry Boxes – ideas to make or find

Developing strategies that they can use as their anxieties grow or when you or they are aware that something that increases their anxiety is about to happen, can really help children to manage their feelings and responses to them.

Below are a few ways that may help your child to manage and reduce their anxieties.

Mindfulness

What is mindfulness? video

Mindfulness for kids – Thought bubble video

Mindfulness activity cards

Grounding / finding calm

Meditation and Music

Relax kids … The big balloon

Peace Out … Introduction

Peace Out … Meditation video links

Smiling Minds APP link … Meditations for all ages 0 -99 yrs

Yoga

Cosmic kids Yoga poses video

Yoga for kids video

Yoga Flow activity selector

Yoga Flow cards

Find other calming strategies and activity ideas below and on the Sensory page

Children’s Books about anxiety and worries:

The Huge Bag of Worries

Silly Billy by Anthony Browne

The Very Hungry Worry Monsters by Rosie Greening

Anger

Anger can be a difficult emotion for a child to deal with. It can cause impulsive reactions which can be challenging to deal with. Talking to a child about their feelings or the consequences of their actions could escalate the child’s anger if done straight away. Giving your child a short time to calm down, in a safe place, can allow their initial intense feelings to subside. Talking to them and addressing any issues and consequences when the child is much calmer means the child listens to you and what you need to say more easily.

Sometimes children will recognise how this Time Out strategy can help them, and will start to use it independently without prompting. If you think this could help your child agree a quiet, safe space with them to ‘retreat’ to if and when they need. This could be a hoop on the floor, a mat, a tent or teepee placed in a quiet, safe space in your home. Walk past to monitor this space when children use it, just to keep an eye on how they are and when they may be ready to talk. 

Having time to reflect on their behaviour is an important part of helping a child learn about what went wrong and how they could react differently. Reflection time helps them to think about how they could respond differently in the future if they start to feel angry again. Young children will often need help to reflect in a meaningful way.

Restoration is also an important part of dealing with our actions when they have gone wrong. After reflecting on their behaviour, encourage your child to ‘put something right again’. It may involve picking up toys that have been thrown on the floor, or saying sorry to their brother or sister if they have been hurt by words or actions.

NHS Dealing with Anger in Children – web link

Helping children with angry feelings – web link

Think before you speak

Restorative Talk Script

You may also find the ‘Challenging Behaviour’ page useful.