Kids Who Keep Reading Keep Learning
Reading books aloud to your children is a great way to open up conversations about feelings. For older kids, you can read the same books they are reading and discuss them together.
Illustrations in children's books show lots of emotions . A parent might say: "See how angry that bear looks; why is he feeling so mad?" And for older kids, you can discuss and empathize with the feelings that a character is experiencing in a novel, "Harriet's friends are not being supportive. I wonder how she feels about that?"
Talking about feelings is the first step in developing "emotional literacy" in our kids. Children need to understand how feelings show up physically in their bodies, and then they need to learn the words to describe these feelings. This sets them on the path to developing the skills to manage their feelings appropriately (a.k.a. "self-regulation").