Children who are emotionally strong, grow up to be confident individuals who can handle every situation without stress or anxiety. But laying the foundation of such a personality is not easy. You have to calm down their emotional turmoil and help them embrace their emotions in a healthy manner. A good children’s book about emotions is a way to start early. Below we have curated a buyer’s guide to help you find the right one.
Despite their small size, children are little tornados of feelings with big emotions hidden inside. You can’t tell when their feelings will bowl you over, because they haven’t learned to regulate their emotions just yet. A simple question can incite confusion and anxiety. Children need to learn to regulate their emotions, as it is very important for their emotional and mental well-being. Here’s how it happens:
Children tend to feel more intense emotions than an adult. No wonder our body goes into stress mode when an adult exhibiting childish behavior approaches us. But when you validate that such overwhelming emotions are normal, and make space to facilitate their experience, your little one will not only feel relieved, they’ll start to develop a healthy acceptance of their emotions. Fighting with their feelings often leads to children becoming stressed and anxious. When they know that it’s acceptable to feel that way, all the stress and anxiety vanishes.
It is wrong to expect your kid to automatically let their feelings out in a healthy manner. You have to first help them identify the various emotions they feel. Familiarize them with the vocabulary of emotional language so they can pinpoint what they are feeling. This ability is the building block of their emotional cognition.
Once your kiddo can identify their different feelings, they also start to develop ways to cope with them. These self-soothing strategies help them become calm. Without these, your child will resort to unhealthy behaviors. A good way to help them is to identify what helps them avoid stress and practice it with them until they master it.
Suppressing their feelings and emotions often becomes a huge hurdle in their ability to perform at full capacity. Unresolved issues linger in their subconscious, using up their mental energy and internal resources. If you want them to utilize their full potential, you have to make sure that their feelings don’t remain unresolved.
Statements like “Stop crying!” can quickly encourage your child to suppress their feelings. This well-meaning attempt to reason is often lost on their developing brain that is, at that particular moment, flooded with stress hormones. This leads to the child becoming withdrawn, which leads to social distancing from both the parents and peers. Allowing the feeling to come and go helps them process their emotions in a better way. It helps them connect with you and their peers in a better way.
Simply put, children’s books about emotions facilitate their Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). Whether you are reading it aloud to them or they are reading it themselves, a good children’s book about emotions can help them build vital SEL skills like empathy. Here’s how:
Self-awareness is the key to emotional competence. Acknowledging their emotions and the ability to name them is something they can learn from children’s books about emotions. Knowing what different emotions look like, and what they are called, helps them identify them when they experience them themselves.
Besides knowing that their feelings and emotions are normal, children should also know about the ways to cope with them. And that’s something a good children’s book about emotions can teach them. When reading such books, you can have a conversation about your own struggles with emotions and help them find the strategies that work for them.
Reading about the characters who appear quite different from them but are experiencing the same feelings encourages empathy in kids. Using such literature helps dispel stereotypes and make way for positive relationships that are based on equality.
Children’s books about emotions help prompt kids to think consequently. When they understand that all their actions have a reaction, they learn to conduct themselves more appropriately. Seeing the various characters struggle with their emotions and how they finally cope with it gives them the courage to bravely face the tide of emotions.
What does a good children’s book contain? Easy to read text and vivid imagery. But what makes a good children’s book about emotions? Find out below:
A good children’s book about emotions contains situations and characters that children can relate to. Even if it centers around imaginary characters, like giants and elves, the events should be similar to what kids experience in day-to-day living. That way the readers will be more involved in reading it till the end.
If you want your kid to grasp the already difficult concept of emotions, you have to choose a children’s book about emotions that is easy to read and understand. The difficulty level of the book depends upon your child’s level of maturity, as well as on their language skills. Even if you are the one who’s going to read the text, if your child cannot understand it, all the hard work will be useless.
Being able to see what different emotions look like helps children associate them with their own feelings. That’s why a children’s book about emotions must contain colorful and engaging illustrations to help kids grasp the concept more clearly.
For a successful learning experience, you have to reinforce what your kid has learned. For this purpose, you need a children’s book about emotions that is informative yet simple. You can go over it with them asking about various characters, or how they are feeling or how your kid might react if they are in the same situation.
Talking about feelings is not simple, even when you are an adult. Imagine how difficult it would be for a small kid who can’t even name what they are feeling. Here is how you can have a heart-to-heart convo with your little one:
The best way to make your little one understand different emotions is to show them yourself. You should use specific words to label your feelings such as happiness, sadness, or anger. And no, it won’t make your kid feel worried or insecure. Rather, it will teach them that it is absolutely normal to express emotions. You can even suggest a coping strategy. For example, when you lose a game, instead of saying “Oh no! I lost”, say “I feel sad that I lost, will you give me a hug to make me feel better?”
Some feelings are inappropriate to talk about with kids, like the inability to pay a high bill. It’s best to not talk about such things to kids; rather you should tailor a kid-friendly statement such as, “This math problem is confusing me. Let me take a walk to clear my mind.”
If your little one is unable to express their emotions, you can summarize their feelings. Judge their behavior and voice how they are feeling. When you observe that they are feeling mad, say it. They’ll learn to associate the feeling with the word and use it later to express themselves. Saying, “You’re frowning and stomping your feet. Are you mad at something?” will help them put a label on what emotions they are feeling.
In addition to voicing your emotions, you can also use the characters from the books and movies your kid loves as additional practice. By labeling the character’s feelings, your little one will understand and explore other emotions, such as disappointment, shyness, frustration, and embarrassment.
We understand your urge to solve your little one’s problems as soon as they arise, but letting your child struggle to find a solution also helps them grow emotionally. For example, when their car is stuck under the dining table out of their reach, instead of running to take it out, say, “It looks like you are frustrated that your car has gone far. Am I right?” Such statements empower them to voice how they feel and to understand that such emotions are normal. It prepares them to face more difficult situations in later life.
Get your kids the “Kindness is my Superpower” book for the holidays and teach them that being kind is fun and cool! The power of kindness is one of the most important skills a child can learn at a young age and take with them into adolescence and adulthood. This children’s book about emotions touches on how to show intentional kindness to others and practice random acts of kindness to make the world a better and more inclusive place for all.
If you want to boost your child’s social and emotional learning, this is the book for you. This delightful little story follows Lucas, who will teach your kid proper manners and positive behavior in common situations, including at home, at school, at the store, and on the playground. There are beautiful illustrations and some fun rhymes so your child will enjoy the story as much as they absorb its lessons.
This children’s book about emotions will help your little one grasp the concept of mindfulness. It is the first step of a steady emotional journey. Without proper guidance, many children cannot understand it completely. The “Mindfulness Workbook for Kids” focuses on techniques for dealing with strong emotions like impulsiveness, frustration, and anger. Plus, it helps them improve their focus and concentration.
It shows them some ways to keep their cool in the most stressful situations and also helps them to work with their nervousness. The book is an amazing tool for learning how to show compassion and make good decisions.
The Roaring Mad Riley by Allison Szczecinski is a children’s book about emotions that deals with feelings like anger and rage. Its narrative nature makes it suitable for kids between the ages of five and seven, and it includes a lot of illustrations and activities that will keep children engaged. Helpful activities include deep breathing, shaking it out, and counting to ten, which will teach your kids to calm themselves in different situations. The exercises included are easy enough to be solved by young children. The author is an expert in the education field and possesses 10 years of experience.
The Anger Management Workbook for Kids by Samantha Snowden is a children’s book about emotions that is designed to help them overcome anger management issues. Some kids are more aggressive than others and are unable to control strong feelings like anger and fear. This workbook is filled with engaging activities that will help children manage feelings of rage effectively. These activities include meditation, doodling, writing, and making illustrations, which will teach children how to stay calm and react when they feel outrageous. This book will also help children understand what anger is and why it can be triggered.
Our next pick is a children’s book about emotion by a clinical psychologist. She understands that little children experience anxiety, but on a very different level than adults. Their emotions are quite strong but they have very little control. That’s why the “Anxiety Relief Workbook for Kids” focuses on a wide range of exercises that employ an evidence-based approach to tackling recurring issues. Your kid will enjoy the colorful imagery and playful content. The relatable scenarios will help them engage with the book and use it for their emotional growth. A good thing about this book are its kid-friendly instructions, so even if you are not present, you little one can read it on their own.
Our next pick is an excellent pick for little children with big feelings. “The Big Feelings Book for Children” is designed to address the emotional issues that kids around 5 to 7 years old face. It employs simple language and colorful imagery to help children understand what’s going on in their mind. The book focuses on four big emotions: excitement, anger, sadness, and anxiety. It features a mix of exercises that help kids cope with the different feelings. They can use these to work through tough situations and balance their emotions.
When kids don’t know how to react in a stressful situation, their first response is anxiety. “Mindfulness for Kids Who Worry” is just the book they need to help them regulate their anxious thoughts. It explores five anxiety inducing situations that your kid will relate to, including being alone in the dark or taking an important test. This children’s book about emotions serves as a step-by-step guide to help kids cope with such situations. It promotes their emotional vocabulary and social skills, so they can conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.
Nothing helps understand emotions better than seeing it reflected. “The Feelings Activity Book for Children” shows them what happens to their minds and bodies when they are experiencing strong emotions. Set in a relatable environment, the scenarios in the book help kids to identify their emotions. It helps them work out how they would feel and react in the same situation, which promotes self-development and empathy for others. The book teaches them to cope with their feelings in a healthy manner through fun activities like coloring, solving puzzles, writing, drawing, and more.
A: The biggest giveaway is the title. Most books tell you about their genre with their title. Children’s books about emotions mention words like feelings, emotions, anger, sadness, or worry in their title to inform you that they are books about emotion.
A: Children’s books about emotions make use of text and pictures to help children identify their emotions. They show what each emotion looks and feels like, and that all those feelings are natural and okay. Some books even teach children how to control their negative emotions.
A: Emotional intelligence is often regarded as more important than the Intelligence Quotient, or IQ, for a productive life. Many experts believe that people who are emotionally well-adjusted tend to have better leadership skills, job performance, and mental health.
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