Can You Really Emotionally Empower Your Kids for Life?

By Andy Martin

Can You Really Emotionally Empower Your Kids for Life? photo source

Can You Really Emotionally Empower Your Kids for Life?

Beginning to talk about our feelings cannot happen too soon. By equipping our children with this skill we are really emotionally empowering them for life!

Having the ability to say accurately how we are feeling not only allows us to communicate more effectively with each other but also develops our ability to consider and recognize feelings being expressed by others. A vital skill for all young children to develop!

Talk to your children and use the language of emotion! Introducing: The Rainbow Dragon

The rainbow dragon is me trying to share a culmination of a strategy that I use to develop emotional literacy, awareness and hopefully regulation in young children.

Rainbow is a young dragon finding it hard to control her fire. She must learn to express how she feels to stop causing a “multi-colored trail of destruction”.

It is simple story, simply presented, with a clear message.

Over the years this analogy has worked well for many young children in helping to develop the emotional regulation. It is designed to begin the process of emotion recognition and emotion labeling. Emotionally Empower Your Kids for Life

The range of emotional language we can teach young children is extensive and the rainbow dragon is a starting point for this development. The range of emotional language that children are exposed to can often vary and it is important that children learn a range of language to describe emotions that they understand the context of and are able to use.  

“Such a great message! Talking is vital to support children in learning to navigate their emotions.” – Dr Sarah Whyte, EdD, MEd.

“It’s important to tell people how we are feeling inside.
Our feelings are things that we should never ever hide!”

On a personal note as a child and teenager writing anything was a challenge. Ideas were never the problem, my handwriting and spelling however was (and still is)!

The debate around teaching creative writing and writing skills in schools seems to be a hot topic at the moment. For me, the balance between formal spelling, punctuation, and grammar (SPAG) work and creative writing opportunities where the emphasis is predominantly on ideas and content is an important one to find.

My personal standpoint is that particularly in infant settings the emphasis must be placed on creation and content. It is so easy to turn young children off writing at an early age by making it too formal, but as I have said… a balance must be found and consideration of this on an individual level in classrooms is necessary.

Luckily there are many great strategies out there to help. I wish we had used the talk for writing a program when I was at school.

Now take a deep breath, my lovely wild child!”

Writing for me has become a passion. A passion that I really never expected to find! Believe me when I say that it is an even bigger surprise to my parents and family! I do not write generally for audience although I am happy too. I write predominantly for me!

I know that it may have been said before but it has become a great escape and to be honest whether anyone ever reads any of it is not really important to me. I write stories.

Some stories are rubbish, some are ok, and some are a little better. It is the process of writing these stories that is the escape for me. Retreating into imagination has to be one of the most rewarding and self-rejuvenating things you can do! You can go anywhere, with anyone and do anything! It is so important that we equip our children with this ability. This is where the creation happens and creativity is powerful! Without it, any sort of progress is very difficult indeed!

“This story is relevant not just for children, but each one of us. So often, we shy away from expressing our emotions and this book inspires us to do exactly that.” – Matthew Spacie MBE, Founder of Magic Bus.

I hope that children who read and engage with the rainbow dragon are set off on a journey towards becoming emotionally literate. I hope that it helps parents and Teachers alike to help children to communicate using the language of emotion. The potential positive knock-on effects for future wellbeing and happiness can be far reaching and the earlier we start this process the better!

Remember……”The color of your fire can be very revealing.
Knowing it will help you to say just how you’re feeling!”

Special Thanks…

I would like to again say thank you Magic bus India. Your work is so incredibly important and so personally inspiring. See you soon!

The Rainbow Dragon was written by Andy Martin and illustrated by Sakina Sana’a… You can purchase it from any of the links below, I truly hope you enjoy it!

Olympia Website: The Rainbow Dragon 

Book Depository: The Rainbow Dragon 

Amazon: The Rainbow Dragon  

Waterstones: The Rainbow Dragon 

Andy Martin

Andy Martin

I am an author and teacher with over 14 years’ experience in special educational needs. I have taught in 4 continents, traveled in 5 and have a passion for the development of emotional intelligence (EQ) in young children and the place that early emotional literacy has within that. My book and schools program "The Rainbow Dragon" is available now. Follow me on twitter @MrATM81 to find out more.
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