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Children and emotional development

8 replies

kelliewellie · 10/07/2019 12:08

I have a toddler and a 5 year old. How do I support the development of emotional intelligence and empathy in my children? Has anyone got any resources, websites, books they can suggest?
We talk about what characters might be feeling in books and how other people feel when they are upset and what we can do to help them. Anything else I should be doing?
Want to make sure they become more emotionally aware than my partner!

OP posts:
KindergartenKop · 10/07/2019 19:36

There's a good book you can do with them called My Inner Chimp. It teaches them a bit about coping with feelings/behaviour. 5 might be a tad young for it.

hopefulhalf · 10/07/2019 19:39

I suggest role play with "small world" toys eg: play mobile. Talk about why the figures are doing what they arw doing and how they feel

BertieBotts · 10/07/2019 19:41

There is a book called how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk which is good. All parenting techniques which support emotional development. Lots about validating feelings.

FudgeBrownie2019 · 10/07/2019 19:46

I agree with that book suggestion, and the fact you're talking about how characters feel in books.

The other thing is just talking them through their own emotions when they happen; if you're able to use language involving emotions "I can see you're frustrated, can I help?", "You look so happy, do you know what your happy face looks like?", "I'm feeling so upset, that film made me cry when x did that to y" you're modelling being open about emotions and the fact that none are bad or shameful, plus you're helping them identify feelings which will eventually help them learn to identify emotions in others. Even the toughest emotions have to be learned about, so use difficult days to teach them to identify their own emotions and be honest about yours and how they impact on others.

One of the worst things my parents ever did when I was a child was never admit when they were struggling. I was adopted at 10 so wasn't young, but when I'd hear them having tough days or arguing, that pretence of "we're fiiiine" meant that I lived in a bit of a state of anxiety because I was hyper-vigilant to their emotions. As a result I'm very direct with my own DC, and very open about the fact that people aren't happy all of the time, and that it's ok to just have 'grrr' days.

kelliewellie · 11/07/2019 01:48

Thanks everyone. I will have a look at the book suggestions. I guess most of it is acknowledging my children's feelings. My parents worked with children their whole career so did a lot of these things. I don't think my partner's parents talked about feelings that much. My partner now struggles with depression, don't feel very secure in his relationships with his family and also really struggles with our school aged child who knows how to push his buttons. I just want my kids to feel secure and be more emotionally aware.

OP posts:
SnowsInWater · 11/07/2019 06:14

John Gottman's Emotion Coaching for Kids is good.

BertieBotts · 11/07/2019 06:40

There is another book that is good for exploring parents' emotions called When Your Kids Push Your Buttons, I found that one good.

RobotNews · 11/07/2019 08:20

How are you feeling today? By molly Potter, the silent guides by prof Steve peters and my hidden chimp by prof Steve peters are three that my sons preschool have recommended to parents.

They’ve also recommended emotional coaching - empathising with the child when their emotions seem overwhelming (‘I know you’re feeling so upset and frustrated because another child took your toy’) before setting a boundary (‘but we don’t hit - it’s not kind’). This is meant to help avert tantrums but I’ve had mixed results.

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