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Respecting Children’s Emotions

One can never pay in gratitude; one can only pay ‘in kind’ somewhere else in life.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Jackie Mader, writing in the Hechinger Report explains how the pandemic has taken its toll on young children’s emotions.

“For the youngest children, the pandemic’s academic and emotional toll might not have received as much attention as it has for older kids, but it has still been severe, according to a new report from the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative’s Early Learning Study at Harvard….

53 percent [of early childhood educators] observed behavioral changes during the pandemic, and 77 percent of those educators who observed changes said they’ve been negative, including more temper tantrums, sadness or crying and difficulty separating from parents. More than half of educators said children have expressed sadness about not seeing friends or family during the pandemic.”

One resource to help educators support children deal with troubling emotions is an Out of the Box Training Kit called “Granting Children Their Emotions.” Dr. Ilse Elisabeth Plattner, Professor of Psychology at the University of Botswana, and author of an article that provides the foundation for the Kit, explains:

“One way of granting children their emotions is by showing empathy…whilst listening to what the child has to say or whilst watching the child's facial expression (instead of just talking to the child), everyone can learn to understand…how a child feels. Whilst asking questions (instead of just giving answers), one will explore even more understanding and the child will develop a certainty that his/her feelings are taken seriously. This will already take a lot of stress away from them and it will assist the child in restoring a psychological balance.”

Here's a wonderful opportunity to attend a free webinar focusing on children’s emotional needs:

Pursuing Bad Guys: Joining Children’s Quest for Clarity, Courage and Community
Wednesday, December 8, at 7 p.m. Eastern time - Register Now!

Join Heather Fox, Director of Outreach for Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, in conversation with Donna King, author of Pursuing Bad Guys from Exchange Press.

Explore the themes of "good guys" and "bad guys" in young children's play and the rich learning available to children and teachers when these topics are approached with curiosity, creativity, relationship, and collaboration. Dive into a fascinating co-constructed investigation, including a teacher's self-reflection along the way.

ENTER TO WIN THE BOOK: Pursuing Bad Guys*

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