How can I help develop my family's emotional intelligence through poetry?

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Give yourself and your family permission to have a family poetry slam. Ask everyone in your family to pick out a poem that they especially like. If your child is unfamiliar with poetry, you can provide some books that will likely appeal to her. You can find children's poetry books at the library. After dinner one evening, or for Saturday night family entertainment, have each family member read the poem they chose. Ask each family member why that particular poem appeals to them. Get a three-ring binder or other folder and save all the selected poems.

Poems usually evoke and reflect deep emotion, so sharing poetry gives your family a chance to dig below the surface and see the depths within each other. If you want to adapt this activity for the car, you can ask one person to talk about a troubling feeling. Then the whole family can suggest poetry lines or turns of phrase that seem to capture that emotion. The person who offered the emotion can say "Yes, that's it" or "No, not quite; it's more like a…" In this way, the whole family will get a chance to practice putting words to emotions. The greater your child's skill at doing this, the more likely she will be able to translate bad feelings into words rather than bad behavior.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.