How to Coach Emotional Literacy

  • Become aware of the child’s emotions
  • Recognize the emotion as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching
  • Listen empathetically and validate the child’s feeling (you do not have to agree with the feeling)
  • Help the child find words to label the emotion (find words that a child can understand – see list below)
  • Set limits while exploring strategies to solve the problem triggering the emotions or, if not solvable, how to work through the emotions


Affectionate                          Embarrassed                        Lazy

Angry                                     Excited                                 Lonely

Annoyed                                Enraged                                Mean

Anxious                                 Exhausted                              Peaceful

Ashamed                                Frustrated                            Proud

Bored                                      Glad                                     Relaxed

Brave                                      Grieving                              Sad

Cautious                                 Grouchy                              Satisfied

Concerned                               Guilty                                 Scared

Confident                               Happy                                 Selfish

Confused                                Hate                                     Shocked

Curious                                  Horrified                             Silly

Depressed                              Hurt                                     Sorry

Disgusted                              Irritated                               Surprised

Eager                                     Jealous                                 Wonderful

Ecstatic                                  Joy                                       Worried