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Little People, Big Feelings

It’s been a year of big feelings, for all of us.  Big feelings, scary feelings, overwhelming feelings, and yet we have mostly continued to dig deep, push forward and take action in the midst of this storm of feelings.  This is emotional resilience at its core and one of our skills that has been put to the test the most during this pandemic.  Like never before, we are all having to find ways to identify, name, talk about and cope with our feelings.

We know that Emotional Literacy is important – it is about being able to identify, understand and manage our emotions in a positive and healthy way. Emotional intelligence (otherwise known as emotional quotient or EQ) is a skill linked strongly to social competence, self-awareness, motivation and self-control.  We all want our children to be able to appropriately regulate their emotions.  A healthy EQ even positively affects our self-esteem and academic purpose. Emotional development involves learning what feelings are, understanding how and why they happen, recognising one’s own feelings and those of others, and developing effective ways of handling the feelings experienced. When children are aware of their feelings and are able to cope with them, they are better able to handle stressful situations when they occur.

And yet, this is so often a skill that we as adult’s struggle with, and struggle to help our children develop.  While we can recognize the importance of EQ and emotional literacy, just how to we go about cultivating these skills?  Here are some ways to start:

With all this in mind,  you might be left wondering just how to start to do this in your home.  One of the most well documented ways is through play! Here are some ideas that you could include in your family time:

We recognise that teaching our kids about feelings and helping them come up with new ways they can cope with them takes lots of time, consistency and patience but the payoffs are huge.  A healthy emotional intelligence helps us navigate the world more appropriately and positively. And who doesn’t want that for their child?

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