Children often need help in naming, understanding, and expressing emotions. Below are five strategies to use when helping children improve their emotional intelligence.
1. Creating a Safe and Supportive Environment
It's important to establish a safe environment where the child can express their emotions without judgement. Encourage open communication and practice active listening skills when listening to your child.
2. Visual Aids for Emotional Literacy
Visual cues can be helpful in helping children name and understand emotions. You can use posters, emotion cards, apps, or your own drawings to help a child understand how they are feeling.
3. Storytelling and Role-Playing
You can use story cards to create a story. Within the story ask your child what feeling the characters are feeling. You can also act out the story or make it into a song.
4. Identifying Physical Sensations
Children often feel physical sensations when feeling certain emotions. Ask them to check in with their body or remember what their body felt like with different emotions.
5. Using a Feelings Journal
Children can use a journal to write their feelings when they are experiencing different emotions. You can encourage them to write their feeling and also what preceded the feeling of that emotion. If writing is difficult, you can encourage the child to draw their feelings.