Books and emotions
Using books is a great way to explore your child’s emotions.
Books can help your child recognize their feelings and they can be a useful tool in exploring appropriate ways for them to express their feelings. Michigan State University Extension says listening to stories can help them identify a similar situation and feeling while giving them a safe emotional distance from their own experiences. Books will also provide a variety of ways to resolve and cope with emotions. They also offer opportunities for you to discuss their emotions and encourage communication with your child. Emotions, especially strong ones can be frightening to children. They do not have the experiences or maturity they need to cope with them in positive ways. Talking about feelings with adults can help understand emotions and relieve stress.
Book sharing can promote coping skills and growth in resiliency. Resiliency is the ability to rise above, or endure the pressures of stressful situations or environments. A child who has adequate emotional understanding and strength to interpret and respond to the events in their life is more likely to have resiliency. Stories can offer a vast variety of problem solving skills and positive social behavior. When selecting books, look for one with a main character who demonstrates high self-esteem and can solve problems in appropriate ways. Even though the main character has the confidence to problem solve on their own, they will also know how to accept help when needed. Also considering looking for books where the main character uses creative resourcefulness and peaceful conflict resolution which does not harm or detract from anyone else’s abilities. Additionally, look for them to model relationships with a significant adult figure that is available for guidance and emotional support.
Your local library or book store can be a great resource in finding books that your child can relate to and learn from.