Report: Fostering Emotional Literacy in Young Children: Labeling Emotions
Report » Fostering Emotional Literacy in Young Children: Labeling Emotions
G. Joseph , P. Strain, M. M. Ostrosky
Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning, Vanderbilt University
This What Works Brief is part of a continuing series of short, easy-to-read, “how to” information packets on a variety of evidence-based practices, strategies, and intervention procedures. The Briefs are designed to help teachers support young children’s social and emotional development. They include examples and vignettes that illustrate how practical strategies might be used in a variety of early childhood settings and home environments.Emotional literacy is the ability to identify, understand, and respond to emotions in oneself and others in a healthy manner. Children who have a strong foundation in emotional literacy tolerate frustration better, get into fewer fights, and engage in less self-destructive behavior than children who do not have a strong foundation. These children are also healthier, less lonely, less impulsive, more focused, and they have greater academic achievement. The focus of this What Works Brief is on building an emotional vocabulary. The development of a feeling word vocabulary is considered to be of critical importance in a child’s emotional development because it makes it possible for children to better understand their emotional experiences. The ability to name a feeling allows children to discuss and reflect with others about their personal experience of the world. The larger a child’s emotional vocabulary, the finer discriminations they can make between feelings and the better they can communicate with others about their feelings.