Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, label, and understand emotions in yourself and others. Emotional intelligence is important in your children’s life because it provides the basis for being a good friend, relating to others, empathy, positive self expression, and many other important interpersonal skills.

One way to boost your child’s emotional intelligence is by enlarging their emotional/feeling vocabulary. This can be accomplished simply by increasing your child’s feeling vocabulary. Perhaps indirectly through conversation and play, or directly, by teaching new feeling words and definitions, reading picture books, drawing examples, and using puppetry.

The Way I Feel
Written and Illustrated by Janan Cain
Copyright 2000
ISBN 1-884734-71-5
Available at your local Barnes & Noble Bookstores, or order online.

This author couldn’t find any children’s books on feelings, so she decided to create her own! The book was designed to assist children in acquiring a basic feelings vocabulary, so that they are better prepared to understand and express their feelings. Fortunately, the author does manage this through the use of colorful, emotionally expressive illustrations and an easy, fun writing style.

Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods that Make My Day
Written by Jamie Lee Curtis
Illustrated by Laura Cornell
Copyright 1998
ISBN 0-06-024560-3
Available at your local Barnes & Noble Bookstores, or order online.

Bright and whimsical illustration, along with sensitive verse, make this book an excellent choice for parents and their children to explore and identify feelings. The author has created realistic examples which make it easy for children to associate and relate to their own personal emotional situations. It even includes a mood wheel at the end for fun game playing and discussion!

A to Z Do You Ever Feel Like Me
Written by Donnie Hausman
Photographs by Sandi Fellman
Copyright 1999
ISBN 0-525-46216-3
Available at your local Barnes & Noble Bookstores, or order online.

This book actually started out as a class assignment on the alphabet. A parent, who was also a professional photographer, encouraged the class to make an alphabet book based on their project. The children decided to enhance their venture and pair the alphabet with exploring feelings, as this class felt figuring out how other people feel was an important aspect to friendship.

The photographs of the alphabet pages are visually stimulating and the emotional expressions of the children are accurate and easily identifiable, even with some of the lesser known feeling words.

How Are You Peeling? Foods With Moods
Written by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers
Copyright 1999
ISBN 0-439-10431-9
Available at your local Barnes & Noble Bookstores, or order online.

When you first open the book you may be startled how realistic the faces are on the fruits and vegetables. However, after the initial surprise, one cannot help but become engaged by the bright photographs and simple prose. Additionally, the text questions can lead easily into conversation about you and your child’s personal experiences. This intriguing and fun book will never get old!

Here are some helpful links:

For Kids:

http://www.kidshealth.org/kid/feeling/thought/talk_feelings.html

http://pbskids.org/rogers/make_believe/feel.htm

For Adults:

http://www.kidseq.com/articles.html

http://www.parentingpress.com/t_970208.html

http://www.micheleborba.com/Pages/ArtBMI09.htm