Do emotions help us make more ethical decisions? I believe they do. If the child cannot understand their own emotions or tune into the emotions of others in their family or with peers, this is a huge risk. If the child is unable to make ethical decisions, they are a risk to themselves and a risk to society.
The future leaders of the world may well be our own global nomads. We need to make sure they have the ability to understand “emotions”. Many people know the 7 basic emotions: Anger, Contempt, Fear, Disgust, Happiness, Sadness and Surprise. By the time a person is holding political offices or CEO’s have they forgotten what they learned as toddlers?
The toddler years are an important first step in emotional regulation (the process of learning how emotions make you feel inside and healthy ways to show these emotions to others).
When a child learns to regulate or control their emotions, they learn how to:
- recognize what they are feeling
- show those feelings in ways that don’t hurt them or others
- cope with their emotions
- This process starts when your child is a toddler and takes many years.
Two reasons we must help our expat children:
- Many expat children are quite adept at all stages and thrive in their cross-cultural awareness, but I do see that it is hard for some to ‘belong’. It is hard to be loyal to someplace if you feel you are just passing through. Since all children spend so much time in school or connected to school activities, it is important that parents foster this loyalty to the new school and new community. Expats need to know what they are feeling.
- Through socialization, children learn how to express what they feel about the environment they are in and the people they are around. If they cannot do this, their social and emotional foundation is at risk. The chance of being misunderstood is greater. They might not have strong, healthy communicative relationships and therefore they may be isolated. Expats seldom thrive in isolation.
Education at home and in school must contain more than good behaviour, basic facts and skills. Each child must feel they are important and worthwhile; they need to know they matter. Emotional resilience is good for people and for society. To have a rich life we need to laugh and be connected. To have a balanced life, we have to have highs and lows. We need to give children a variety of experiences. If a family says, “We matter to each other.” then I know that their family is strong. If they matter to each other they know their own emotions and the emotions of others in the family.
Step by Step Plans to Expand your Child’s Emotional Knowledge
Jsimensproject.com is a look at the global nomads around the world that we all love. Look at the video links to use with your children to see if they understand why each picture was put with a certain emotion. Many photos are from around the world so every child will relate to some of the photos.
Positive and Lively Emotions
This is the state of experiencing humorous and entertaining events or situations, and is associated with smiles and laughter.
Positive/Lively Emotions video:
Negative and Forceful Emotions
This is often an unpleasant mental state that is characterized by irritation and distraction. It can lead to emotions such as frustration and anger. Being easily annoyed is called irritability.
Negative and Forceful Emotion video:
Negative Thoughts Emotions
These emotions are often glossed over by the parents. They try to ‘joke’ their child out of these feelings or tell them to grow up. Or even tell them to ‘let it go’ and move on.
Negative Thoughts Emotion video:
Positive Thoughts Emotions
These emotions are hard for a child to pin point. They need to have adults explain them in real situations. Get your child to feel more than ‘happy’.
Positive Thoughts Emotions video:
Quiet Positive Thoughts Emotions
Serenity is often hard for a parent to explain to their child in this fast paced world today.
Quiet Positive Thoughts Emotion video:
Reactive and Caring Thoughts Emotions
Parents need to highlight these emotions and give them a name so their child really “can” see and understand what they mean.
Reactive and Caring Emotions video:
Most of the schools I have given presentations to have taken these videos and created lesson plans to help their students really understand their own emotions. One school used them in cross over lessons in the Homeroom and Art classes. Another Preschool spent six weeks on emotions, using one video per week to focus their lessons. Then these kids went to the Middle School and shared with a class what they knew about their emotions. Priceless!
Please let me know if you or your school needs more information on how to use jsimensproject.com and these video resources.