Emotional literacy is an incredible key to opening up self-awareness. Our emotional responses in many cases can give us clues about ourselves and our ‘buttons’ and by being aware of these, we can react in the present rather than past conditioning or having auto-pilot, not-always-healthy responses. By becoming emotionally literate we:
- gain more control
- can be more flexible and confident in our approach
- help ourselves deal with challenges in a more positive and less anxious way
- interact better, communicate more effectively, and understand our relationships with others more fully
- make better decisions
- reduce our stress levels
- get more out of life!
For children though, emotional literacy is primarily about learning to regulate emotions so that they cause themselves or others no harm. I will post a lot more about emotional literacy over the next few weeks but as a starter here are some things you can do with young children to start the emotional literacy ball rolling. You could:
1) Explain to your child that emotions are a normal part of being human.
2) Point put that emotions can be positive/comfortable/enjoyable and they can be negative/uncomfortable/unenjoyable.
3) Explain that emotions change all the time.
4) Increase your child’s emotion vocabulary. Start with happy, sad, angry, scared and slowly add more.