Fostering Emotional Intelligence

By Susan Eisman

Fostering children’s emotional intelligence can be as simple as reading a good picture book together.  The most popular book on our classroom shelf is…








 The raging child on the cover beckons preschoolers.  And as they hear the story, children readily relate to little Bella’s meltdowns and her day wrought with frustration.  Children are eager to see Bella’s reactions to all the upsets in her day, and they take comfort with Bella’s mom’s reassurance that “We all have those days sometimes.”

Reading about emotionally challenging times allows children the opportunity to consider charged feelings at a time when they are not actually experiencing such difficult feelings.  Instead, children read books with their families and in the coziness of our parent cooperative, as they snuggle in close, noticing their connections and relationships with those who care about them. They even share humor and laughter, discharging feelings of uneasiness for having had their own frustrated experiences in the past.  This process clearly supports children’s understanding that feeling grouchy or angry is a normal human experience and that while feeling such internal upheaval is unpleasant, those feelings pass.

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Excerpt from  How To Support Your Child’s Social-Emotional Development:

Young children often struggle with how to express their intense emotions. They need help knowing how to appropriately manage their feelings. Using language to identify, label, and respect a young child’s feelings helps. It not only allows her to feel respected and understood, but it also can help her to calm down and better manage her emotions. Over time, children are better able to identify and label their own feelings as their language skills develop.”

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