Emotional Literacy: 3 Ways to Help Your Child Express Feelings! by Mercedes Samudio

5 years ago
Emotional Literacy: 3 Ways to Help Your Child Express Feelings!

Emotional literacy is a child's ability to understand and express feelings. Here are my top three tips for helping your child build emotional literacy!

  • Build a feelings vocabulary: There are so many great resources for learning feelings words, from cards to books to movies. Use fun ways to teach your child words that go beyond happy, sad or mad!
  • Ask about your child's feelings: Go past questions like, "How was your day?" Instead, ask specific questions about your child's life such as, "How did that history test go?" or "What happened when you talked to you teacher today?"
  • Be a model: Show your child that it's normal to have a range of emotions by sharing what you feel in your daily life. For example, "I felt worried that I'd be late to picking you up when I got into traffic." This normalized experiencing feelings for your child.

These great products from Amazon.com can help you build your child's emotional literacy:

Todd Parr Feelings Flash Cards
Todd Parr Feelings Flash Cards $12.50
Todd Parr makes understanding feelings fun with these 20 sturdy flash cards featuring 40 different emotions.
Feeling Flashcards Drawn By Jim Borgman-Pulitzer Prize Winner by Time Promotions
Feeling Flashcards Drawn By Jim Borgman-Pulitzer Prize Winner by Time Promotions $14
Contains 30 face cards, each with face on front.
The Feelings Book
The Feelings Book $5
Illustrates the wide range of moods we all experience. Kids and adults will appreciate Todd Parr's quirky intelligence as he pays special attention to the ever-changing, sometimes nonsensical emotions that we all feel.
Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day
Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day $10
Silly, cranky, excited or sad – everyone has moods that can change each day. Jamie Lee Curtis's zany and touching verse, paired with Laura Cornell's whimsical and original illustrations, helps kids explore, identify and, even have fun with their ever-changing moods.
The Way I Feel
The Way I Feel $11
Filled with vivid, expressive illustrations that help children ages 2 to 8 describe their emotions and understand that feelings are a normal part of life.
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Daniel's Big Feelings DVD
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Daniel's Big Feelings DVD $7
Daniel Tiger invites young viewers directly into his world, giving them a kids' eye view of his life and making them feel like one of his neighbors.
Ruby's Studio: The Feelings Show DVD
Ruby's Studio: The Feelings Show DVD $13
Ruby invites kids into her beautiful art studio for a day of fun and learning through engaging animation, art project and original music.
Feelings & Faces
Feelings & Faces $14
A craft and game where children get to explore their feelings and the feelings of others through various everyday situations. Included in the project are all the materials, visual instructions as well as extension activities such as Emotions Guessing game, which helps kids develop their emotional intelligence further.

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Cheryl Leahy
Jamie Lee Curtis wrote a great book that I read to my kids entitled "Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day"- such a wonderful way to connect with our kids!
Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
YES, Cheryl Leahy - I remember that book and my kids loved it, too! Thanks for suggesting that! Donna John - can we add that to this great list of resources? Thank you Mercedes Samudio for the great tip!
Mercedes Samudio
Oh I love that book! So fun! I think I need to get it for a few of my awesome parents who are managing toddlers right now! :)
Donna John
I love that book, Cheryl Leahy! Thanks for the suggestion! And agreed, Elisa All Schmitz 30SecondMom, this is a great tip for parents (grandparent's, too!).
Mercedes Samudio
Thanks Donna John for the kind words! Glad you enjoyed the tip!
Erica Hornthal
This is great! Very much inline with dance/movement therapy. We have to teach our children to share and express emotions. Modeling is often the hardest to do, but so necessary.
Mercedes Samudio
Erica Hornthal Oh! I love that! I used to dance and still dance around the house to release stress after a long day! Do you do dance/movement therapy?
Erica Hornthal
Yes. I'm a dance therapist based in Chicago.:-)

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