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Developing your child's emotional literacy

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​Emotional literacy is the ability to understand and express feelings.

Between the ages of 3 and 5, children are learning how to get along with each other, share and understand their feelings.

Learning to recognise and identify their own emotions and how to respond to the feelings of others is a core part of a child’s social development. This is the foundation for developing friendships.

Emotional literacy is based on the words a child uses. Even before they learn to talk, children begin to learn this vocabulary.

So how can you support your child’s emotional development?

  • Be a positive role model of what you would like your child to do.
  • Name feelings for your child and refer to them regularly.
  • Talk to children about your own feelings.
  • Read stories (PDF, 65KB) about being a friend, happy feelings, sad feelings, problem solving, self-confidence, etc.
  • Talk about things other people do and how they might feel.
  • Build up a language of pro-social behaviour by talking about taking turns, sharing, helping, looking after others, etc.
  • Make the Allen puppets and use the range of facial expressions to act out stories and explore problem solving.
  • Praise your child when you notice your child is making an effort to get along with other children.
  • Checkout The Allen learns about feeling resources to help your child learn about social and emotional behaviours and develop empathy for others.


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Last updated 30 October 2020