It is a sad statistic that in the United States, as many as 92-95% of school-age children suffer from issues with their emotional regulation. This is not surprising when it comes to development, as around the age of between 5 and 6, many children begin to form a more concrete understanding of themselves, and this can be a difficult thing to understand if it is not handled with care.
This is where the help of teachers and parents can come into play with a newer initiative called emotional learning. While emotional intelligence is seen as a given for all adults to function and succeed, it is equally important for children. Why? In this article, this is explored alongside how adults, particularly teachers, can help and reap the benefits.
Helps Them to Solve Problems
Teachers will be familiar with children struggling to solve an issue, be it a maths-based one or one relating to communication. In a social context, children may also run into problems but may not know what to do. Say you have a child in your class who wants to make friends and feel accepted, but they are friends with another child who makes them feel sad. Identifying this can help them solve this issue but cutting out or addressing this toxic interaction, thus solving the problem. How can you, as a teacher, help with this? Look into getting a Social Emotional Learning Certificate and become qualified to teach children about these aspects of their own wellbeing.
Helps Them to Feel In Control
When it comes to emotions, children often react; that is, if they are sad, they will cry. If they are angry, they will throw things, etc., depending on their age. They may go silent if they are more detached and overwhelmed.
Being able to identify with them what is making them feel this way will help them to feel more in control and will help them focus on gaining the control back, thus allowing them to express their emotions in more healthy ways than breaking things or disassociating.
If a child feels negative about themselves, these negative thoughts (if not expressed healthily) can cause them to act negatively. Thus, they may engage in behaviors that can seem confusing, such as swearing, talking negatively about others, or disengaging. Emotional intelligence can help them to recognize that anxiety, sadness, and anger are all healthy emotions to have and that, in certain contexts, these are completely normal. This will lead to improved confidence.
As mentioned before, younger children or those who are developmentally stunted may not be engaging in emotionally healthy relationships. They may be staying in friendships that are not making them happy. By helping them identify which class members are their best friends for them, as a teacher, you are helping them nurture better relationships.
Teaches Mindfulness at A Younger Age
As someone who is trained in emotional learning, you will also be able to teach the children in your class about mindfulness. This may involve daily meditations, journal writing, or even yoga. All of these are great when it comes to helping children manage emotions and makes for a more productive learning environment too.