What is emotional literacy? A guide for parents

Learning to acknowledge and cope with your feelings are important parts of what is emotional literacy. Learn more about this important skill!
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Parents that are dedicated to their children’s development are always looking to provide the best resources to encourage the little ones. If your study agenda doesn’t include a topic over what is emotional literacy, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity. 

It comes as no surprise that children benefit from developing subjective skills, right? Continue your reading and understand how to apply emotional literacy in your family’s environment. 

Definition of emotional literacy 

First things first: what is emotional literacy? The name itself is quite literal, since it means the ability to recognize, express, process and cope with feelings – your own and other people’s as well. In order to do that, you actually need to create and nurture a type of vocabulary on matters of affection. 

Why is emotional literacy important 

Children that are encouraged to express their own feelings and acknowledge how others feel will likely grow a great sense of empathy. This can help them in the future, especially if becoming a future leader is something important to them. 

Keys to emotional literacy 

As far as we’ve understood, emotional literacy is defined as an important life skill. But what does it actually bring to the table and what can be expected once emotional literacy is developed

You can say that the keys to emotional literacy are: 

Self-awareness, as it refers to the ability to identify, accept and process what you’re feeling inside. Naming your feelings and understanding what they mean. 

Self-management, as the child will be able to respond to a certain feeling according to its proportions. Keeping themselves calm and learning how to cope with stressful situations can be so useful in the future! 

Finally, social awareness also defines what the appropriate behavior must be in case of stress or frustration. It’s important to notice that it’s not about not responding in case something goes wrong: it’s more about processing one’s feelings and not having any posture they can regret later on. 

How to develop emotional literacy in children 

Parents and people from the child’s close coexistence are in charge with setting the example of what is emotional literacy. 

As usual, make it light and playful! Also, be mindful of keeping the conversation simple, using terms the child can understand. 

Reading time 

A whole universe opens up as you read. Take advantage of that and stimulate the child to talk about what they think a character is feeling when something unexpected happens in a story. You may enjoy bedtime stories to explore that!

Literally, draw it down 

Visual stimulation can also help the little one to interpret what a certain emotion means. Take this opportunity to spend some time together drawing facial expressions that represent different feelings!

Bring it to the routine 

As the child begins to create this emotional repertoire, stimulate the child to identify different emotions as they’re watching a video or if someone close to them is expressing something you think they can already interpret. 

As you’ve seen, emotional literacy is defined as an important life skill. It helps your child to become more aware and open to deal with feelings – either their own or other people’s. 

As you’re discovering more about the definition of emotional literacy, you might become more aware of people’s feelings as well. Continue to expand your emotional abilities and understand how to deal with your child’s anger feelings.

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