This week, children across Oregon and the country are returning to school: meeting new teachers, learning new routines, and navigating new friendships and group dynamics. This can be overwhelming, especially for our youngest students who are still learning how to recognize their own emotions.
For parents wanting to support their children’s emotional learning, we recommend this recent article by The Ounce: “Four Daily Ways to Teach Your Child About Emotions.” Among the recommendations included in the article:
- Teach your child words to describe a wide variety of emotions.
- Help your child connect feelings to the actions that cause them.
- Give your child suggestions for what to do with their feelings.
- Ask your child specific questions about their feelings.
Preschool through fifth grade educators also have a role to play in supporting children’s emotional development. Our Early School Success (ESS) initiative aims in part to support these efforts. Launched this year in the Forest Grove and Beaverton School Districts, ESS will help districts align their preschool through fifth grade instruction so that teachers can better provide developmentally appropriate instruction and support children’s social-emotional learning.
“Through play and joyful learning, students will have a chance to establish relationships that encourage trust, respect, and care. Teachers will encourage and nurture these positive behaviors and connections. The early years set the stage for how academic learning will follow and set children up for their educational journey and life successes,” says Karen Twain, CI’s program director in charge of ESS.
By supporting young children’s emotional development at home and school, parents and educators pave the way for lifelong success, in and out of the classroom.