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Children's Response to Literature

How Bibliotherapy Helps Promote Emotional Intelligence

Bibliotherapy is a wonderful tool for both educators and parents alike. The response to literature is a great tool for both teachers and parents to help children learn and talk about different situations.

How can Storytelling Help Children?

Storytelling allows children to learn about and gain different perspectives into their emotions and to learn more about their responses to situations. By encouraging a response to literature, children become engaged in thought provoking discussions.

Pardeck recognized this method as having six potential objectives 

  1. Offering data or information. 
  2. Providing specific insights into situations 
  3. Providing other ideas about how to solve issues 
  4. Stimulating talk to determine the problems 
  5. Communicating better attitudes related to the issue 
  6. Helping children know they are not alone and others have the same issues

Positive Results of Bibliotherapy

EI expert, Daniel Goleman found that there are six positive results from the use of bibliotherapy 

  1. Less physical violence at school. 
  2. Fewer name-calling incidents. 
  3. Fewer put-downs in the class. 
  4. Improved methods to reduce conflict. 
  5. Better sensitivity among children. 
  6. More incidents of active listening between children

Steps to a Response to Books

Books and stories like these will develop an emotional response to literature 

Steps to make story time an opportunity to develop children's emotional intelligence and to enhance their response to literature.

  1. Ask your child(ren) to review the book cover to predict what the book is about.
  2. Read the book, reflecting and posing questions. 
  3. Focus the questions on how the characters may be feeling, what the situation is, how the characters are coping with the situation in the story that will help you achieve your target.
  4. Ask your child(ren) to retell the story in their own words.
  5. Discuss child(ren)'s own experiences. 
  6. Relate the discussion to the child(ren)'s current situation.
  7. Let the child(ren) express solutions to the book characters stories.
  8. Other activities such as drawing, journal writing or drama can be done afterwards. 

Reading can help children develop empathy from an early age which is one reason why it's so important to read to your children from the time they're babies. It is also a great bonding experience, making children feel secure and loved, and is known to boost their IQ, as well as their EQ.

But all the electronic distractions around today mean that many kids don't read much these days. So how do you encourage them to read? The very best way is to read to them often when they're young starting when they're babies. As they get older and learn to read independently, take the time to find great books for them to read which match their interests and reading ability.

Developing your child's self-awareness and self-reflection skills can also be helped along with books and stories. Encouraging children to talk about emotions and develop their emotional literacy is an important step in a child's emotional development.

Response to Literature

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