Introduction to Emotional Literarcy

Posted on February 1 2013 by FHPPS in EQ

We started a new program in 2013 designed to help our children develop their emotional literacy (EQ).

Emotional Intelligence is defined as the ability to identify, manage and express ones emotions and the emotions of others. In education and in the field of psychology more and more evidence is highlighting the benefits of delivering a program of direct teaching of these skills to help equip children to achieve success and happiness in life. We want our wonderful children to have lots of opportunities to explore emotions so that they can be confident in managing themselves and their relationships positively in life. This will give them the building blocks to cope in primary school, secondary school and beyond.

What will the program look like?

All classes will have a ‘feelings corner’. Every teacher will design this differently but the main aim is to have an area to represent the theme for the week. This will also act as a calming area for children to visit when they are trying to manage any negative emotions.

Lisa Pedersen, the school counsellor, will visit all the classes to introduce the theme and run some activities. The teachers will then carry on teaching the theme by integrating it into the rest of their curriculum areas. The key time to bring out the use of these skills and reinforce the concepts will come during playtimes and in general interactions in the classroom.

What can parents do?

Each time the theme is changed we will send parents a list of questions and suggested activities for you to do with your child to also reinforce their learning.

Regardless of the theme it is always helpful to ask your child how they felt during the day.

Here are some suggestions:

‘What made you happy today?’

‘What made you sad today?’

‘What was the best part of the day?’

‘Did anything make you feel uncomfortable or nervous?’

Make sure you listen and feedback what they said, ‘So you felt sad when you had to share that toy train. I know it can be hard to share but I am so proud that you did.’ Validating feelings can really help a child move on from the negative feeling they had.

Take time for yourself. Children always pick up on how you are feeling. If you are stressed or worried it is much harder to be patient and listen to a child. It is not always easy to find time for a break but it is so important to do to maintain balance in your life. When stretched for time, take 5-10 minutes each night to read a book, write in a diary or call a friend. Remember, you are also role modelling the behaviour you would like your child to exhibit.