How Reading and Talking About Feelings Benefits Your Family

Knowing how to label and process emotions is central to children’s social-emotional learning.

Jul 05, 2022



How Reading and Talking About Feelings Benefits Your Family

Jul 05, 2022

Knowing how to identify and express emotions are core skills of social-emotional learning, which helps children develop healthy relationships with themselves and with others. Your nightly read-aloud routine with your child is the perfect time to read books about feelings and start a conversation about the emotions that come up from a character’s actions or an event in the plot.

Books about feelings not only make finding the words for a feeling easier, but reassure children they’re not alone in feeling anxious, angry, or sad — and that such feelings will pass.

Here are 10 benefits to incorporating books about feelings into your family’s daily read-aloud.

1. Your child will share their feelings. 

Witnessing a character’s emotional journey on the page, with a parent alongside, will encourage your child to confide in you when they experience the same feelings.

2. Your child will develop empathy.

Reading about another person’s feelings will not only make your child feel less alone, but give them perspective about what others go through — boosting their compassion and emotional intelligence. 

3. Your child will want to read more. 

In discovering relatable characters, your child will find series and authors they’ll latch onto. Frequent reading is key to fostering a lifelong love of reading.

4. Your child will take control of their feelings.

Seeing how relieved a character is after they’ve identified, shared, and accepted their feelings will inspire your child to move forward — a confidence boost in itself. 

5. Your child will learn more about you. 

The “conversational duet” that read-alouds inspire means your child learns from their book and from you. When your child shares a feeling or personal problem, show them you understand by sharing stories and lessons from your own life experience.

6. Your child will learn words and expressions for feelings.

Naming an emotion is a first step toward expressing what it feels like and how it’s affecting you.

7. Your child won't be ashamed of their feelings. 

When they see that everyone processes all sorts of feelings, it’s a signal to children that it’s OK to have feelings, and that feelings are temporary — they come and go.

8. Your child will learn by example how to process their feelings.

Characters in books are the models your child looks for when it comes to solving a problem — like how to sit with, share, and accept a feeling.

9. Your child will learn the fundamentals of mindfulness.

Reading about how characters respond to emotions will equip your child with methods for regulating their own emotions, so they don’t become overwhelmed by them.

10. Your child will become a model for others. 

As your child learns to talk honestly with themselves, they’ll craft a positive self-awareness. Others will take notice, and soon your child will be an inspiration for others to be honest about their feelings — even when they don’t feel great!

Shop books about feelings for your family read-alouds below. You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store, where you'll receive free shipping on book-only orders over $25.

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