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kids learn about their emotions in a classroom

We aren’t born knowing how to manage our emotions; it’s a skill we develop throughout life. And today many educators — from preschool to high school — have begun to create curriculum to teach students how to recognize and regulate their feelings.

One such program was created by Marc Brackett, PhD — a professor at Yale University’s Child Study Center — and a team at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. It’s called Ruler, which stands for the following:

  1. Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
  2. Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
  3. Labeling emotions with nuanced vocabulary
  4. Expressing emotions in accordance with cultural norms and social context
  5. Regulating emotions with helpful strategies

Students can use it as shorthand when they’re flooded by feelings at school.

The success of the program reveals the value of early education in emotional literacy. Over the past two decades, Brackett has observed Ruler’s positive impact on students’ “emotional-intelligence skills, social problem-solving ability, work habits, and grades; on classroom and school climate, including fewer instances of bullying; and on teacher stress, burnout, and instructional support for students.”

And if the effects of developing emotional literacy are that positive for children, it’s safe to assume the practice is good for adults, too.

This was excerpted from “6 Difficult Emotions and How to Deal With Them” which was published in Experience Life magazine.

Jessie Sholl

Jessie Sholl is an Experience Life contributing editor.

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