Life with toddlers and preschoolers can sometimes be a storm of emotions. Parents and caregivers can help their children succeed in school and in life by helping them learn to regulate these emotions and to express them in healthy, socially appropriate ways. One great way you can do this is by reading books with your children.
The ability to recognize and name our own emotions and those of other people is the foundation of emotional regulation and empathy. You can begin teaching emotional literacy with any fictional book by naming the emotions of the characters, but many picture book authors have also created books specifically designed to teach children a vocabulary of emotions. Research has found that simply naming an emotion can help to tame its effects, so having a broad vocabulary for the many feelings they experience will help children regulate these emotions.
With that in mind, Youth Services has prepared a list of books in the Handley Regional Library collection to help you teach emotional literacy: Feeling Blue, Seeing Red: Emotions Booklist.
This article from Mind/Shift explains some other simple, easy to implement techniques to foster emotional intelligence and emotional regulation.
For parents who are interested in exploring this subject further, this article from the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning at Vanderbilt University provides more practical tips and a list of references for further reading: http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/resources/wwb/wwb21.html