“Emotional Learning” helps children develop their morality, personality and individuality. We recommend beginning “emotional education” with your little one as soon as possible. Our personality develops slowly over many years; however, the way of thinking and emotional reactions children gains when they are young, form an important foundation for their future development. In this article, we will cover “emotional education” and what parents should keep in mind when covering the subject with their little ones.
“Emotional Learning” is a field of education that helps us learn how to think and feel for ourselves. There are a variety of types of “Emotional Learning” but they can be separated into 4 categories.
4 Categories of “Emotional Learning”
・Scientific Emotions……observing conditions and events and making an intelligent decision
・Moral Emotions……make improvements from a moral standpoint
・Religious Emotions……understanding Buddhism and Shinto and the importance of life
・Aesthetic Emotions……being able to look at something beautiful and see its beauty
・Acknowledge your child (Praise and Recognize)
When people are acknowledged, they gain self-confidence and are more likely to develop into more carefree individuals. Children are no different, so it is important for parents to praise and recognize their children and help them develop a positive heart and attitude. Receiving praise from their parents (the most important people in their lives) will bring out your child’s motivation to learn. Let’s try to point out child’s strong points whenever possible.
・Expose them to nature and living things
Allowing your child to play freely in nature and interact with living plants and animals will play an important role in their emotional development. Feeling how big nature is will encourage your child to grow into a caring and understanding of others.
・Read them picture books
Listening to picture books expands a child’s imagination and sensitivity. Empathizing with the main characters will help them learn how to accept another’s persons feelings and ideas.
・Attend classes and lessons
Attending classes gives children the opportunity to move their bodies and play with other children. These are important activities for their development and support their health and growth. Playing with their peers will encourage them to think about how others feel and how their actions affect others.
・Expose them to artwork and music
Exploring beautiful artwork and music plays an important role in encouraging aesthetic emotions. It is a good idea to take your child along to museums, exhibits and musical concerts whenever you get the chance. Encouraging your child to draw on his/her own or play an instrument is another great form of aesthetic emotional learning. It is important to praise your child on his/her artwork and instrument playing to help them gain self-confidence.
・Participate in Buddhist Memorial Services and Visit the Graveyard
Buddhist memorial services and visiting the graveyard is a great way to learn about Buddhism and Shinto. Participating in these events will help children learn about religion, the importance of life and showing kindness to others.