How many emotions can you identify in yourself? And in your kid(s)?
According to a research conducted by Brené Brown, a Social Work Professor at the University of Houston, shockingly the mean number of emotions that people can identify in themselves and others is three: commonly bad, sad, and glad.(1) However, there are actually 30 core emotions one can feel.(2)
The findings of Marc Brackett, a professor at Yale University’s Child Study Center and the founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, also demonstrate that people are neither in touch with their emotions nor properly equipped with the tools to regulate them if they are. This is very dangerous because we get our own or our kids’ emotions wrong.
For example, if you’re observing that your kid is yelling that they hate you for not being able to visit a friend, you must understand that the underlying cause is likely disappointment, so you must respond by regulating their disappointment, not by punishing them for their anger.(1)
Thus, Brackett has created a system called RULER (Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulating) to help kids to manage and regulate emotions. The first three - Recognizing, Understanding, and Labeling - help us to accurately identify and decode what we and others are feeling. The two remaining skills - Expressing and Regulating - tell us how we can manage those emotions to achieve desired goals.(3)
There are many excellent picture books you can read together with your kids to recognize, understand and label the emotions of the characters.
In this two-part blog, we’ll recommend the new picture books in Pima County Public Library’s collection with each of them focusing on one emotion. Happy emotion-ing!
Have you been angry at your beloved siblings, friends or parents? What do you usually do when you’re angry at someone? Would you do something that you’ll feel sorry for later?
I’m always anxious before Show-and-Tell day. What about you?
Is there a place that you feel you belong? Is there another place that you feel otherwise?
What can you do to help other people feel they belong?
Do you have a lot of questions for this world? Who would you turn to ask?
Empathy is such a delicate yet powerful emotion. It’s to feel what others are feeling. When your best friend cries, can you feel the pain/frustration/grief/disappointment…?
What would you do when you fear something? What would you do when your mom fear something?
What would bring you joy?
Have you experienced a loss of your loved ones? The emptiness in your chest, heavy weight of your heart? If not, have you witnessed someone in grief?
Things don’t always go like what we want. What would you do if you are not happy? What would you do if your mom is not happy?
“Joy is an inner feeling. Happiness is an outward expression. Joy endures hardship and trials and connects with meaning and purpose. A person pursues happiness but chooses joy.”4 Can you still stay joyful when there’s nothing making you happy?
When someone is different from you, would you judge them being different or accept and embrace the difference between you two?
Who do you love? How do you love them? Who are you loved by? How are you loved?
We’re all different from one another. Well, what if you have a tail? Would you feel lonely being different? What would you do when you feel lonely? What would you do when you see someone feel lonely?
Do you like surprises? Do you enjoy being surprised? Would you surprise someone?
Are you worried about the unknown? What would you do when you’re worried? What would yo udo when you see someone worried?
-Xuan, Children's Librarian, Eckstrom-Columbus Library
- Brené Brown and Marc Brackett On Emotional Intelligence During A Pandemic
- List of core emotions by Brené Brown
- Permission to Feel: A practical evidence-based approach to managing our emotions
- What's the Difference Between Joy and Happiness?
Read, Write, Talk, Sing, Play!
The day children are born, their brains are primed for language. Talking with your child about anything and everything helps them build oral language skills, which are critical to early literacy!
Read more about early literacy and how you can make a difference in your child's life.