17 April 2015

On Tuesday April 14, 2015, Janelle Bowler and Penny Andersen explored how emotions are central to all learning. They presented key ways to support young children as they learn to manage their emotions.  

The 3 Top Tips discussed, related to ways of being with children, talking about emotions and organising emotions. 

When faced with challenges the emotional behaviour of young children bring, it is tempting to search for quick fixes and one-size-fits-all approaches. This webinar offers an opportunity to really explore children’s ability to manage their emotions, and to outline how we as adults and educators can assist them to do this.

We know this is a complex, emotion-charged area of our work.

Recording of the webinar event

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Insight from brain research

One effective way to understand the significance of emotions is to look at how the brain works.

The aim is to integrate and use all areas of the brain -this is especially important when managing and regulating emotions

Areas and functions in the brain are connected vertically, horizontally and diagonally. The emotional brain sits somewhere in the middle. It is constantly trying to link between our upstairs and downstairs brain, the left and right and the memories. Integration enables the left and right hand brain to work as a team, and the upstairs and downstairs brain to support each other.

Behaviour, emotions and learning

Emotions are central to learning … and knowing how to manage and respond to emotions in positive ways are skills that impact all areas of life.  Emotions help and hinder our learning, they colour how we feel and think about ourselves, our world and the people in it.  A child expresses what they are thinking, feeling and needing through their behaviour.  

Educators often report how they are becoming increasingly concerned with the challenging behaviours in early childhood settings

Learning how to manage emotions is both caught and taught. Educator responses to a child’s behaviour are the key to how the child manages their behaviour and emotions. As emotion coaches by modelling and explicit teaching we can have a major impact on children’s ability to learn to manage their emotions.

Educator in Action

Watch KidsMatter Video: Developing children’s social and emotional skills Topic 3.2. Consider four factors that contributed to how this educator was able to stay calm and help this distressed child manage her strong emotion.

  1. Educator’s beliefs, strengths and understanding … and support from colleagues
  2. Connecting = physical touch + asking to help + matching intensity + remaining calm + being in tune
  3. Emotional literacy = recognising emotions > expressing emotion > regulating or managing emotion
  4. Tell the story

Chat and poll questions:

  • What concerns you most about supporting children to manage their emotions?
  • Which of these emotions are you likely to speak with children about?
  • What is your favourite Top Tip?
  • How will you move forward with this?
  • What strategies do you currently use to help young children manage their emotions?
  • How successful are they?
  • What would you like to change?
  • What is one idea you will take away from this webinar and use in your practice?

KidsMatter resources that relate to presenters’ topics

Resources for educators and families:

Other Resources that relate to the presenters’ topics