The TDSB introduces a different character development theme each month to help students learn and practice positive character attributes. In November, students are learning about empathy. Next month, kindness and caring.
How can we continue to encourage emotional expression at home, and teach emotion skills to our kids starting from a young age? It involves becoming what researcher Marc Brackett calls an “emotion scientist”; asking really good questions to ensure we can label and understand our own feelings, as well as other people’s feelings. Think about how a strategy used to support a child feeling envy would be very different from supporting a child feeling jealousy.
Brackett has developed a program called RULER “that aims to increase children’s ability to recognize emotions in themselves and others, understand where their emotions come from, label emotions more precisely, express emotions in different contexts, and regulate (or manage) emotions more effectively. Learn more in this Q&A with Brackett about how to cultivate emotional intelligence in ourselves and our kids.
A great companion piece to this is the feeling wheel, which helps to better describe emotions that stem from six core feelings: mad, scared, joyful, powerful, peaceful and sad. Check it out here.
By teaching students about the value of character – respecting themselves and each other, making positive contributions to their school and community, and thinking critically and creatively – we can build strong communities. And that’s something our team at RFRK can get behind!
Have your own emotional intelligence tips to share with the real food community? We’d love to hear from you! Find us @realfoodforrealkids on Facebook or Instagram and tag #puthealthfirst and #RFRKeveryday.