Self-confidence and self-awareness are key signs of emotional intelligence – the ability to perceive, interpret, demonstrate, control, evaluate, and use emotions to communicate with and relate to others.

This means that as kids develop a sense of identity, they also develop healthy emotional expression.

PDG Foundations for Emotional Development

You can download this resource HERE.

Kids demonstrate they’re developing a self-identity by:
  • Noticing and looking at themselves in a mirror or responding to their name

  • Recognizing themselves in a picture and talking about individual characteristics, such as physical traits and interests

  • Feeling capable and showing confidence in different settings such as home, school, and in the community

  • Differentiating characteristics in themselves and others, or drawing a picture of people with specific traits

Kids demonstrate healthy emotional expression by:
  • Expressing, recognizing, and labeling their body’s sensations and emotions

  • Adapting to diverse situations and new environments with appropriate emotions and behaviors

  • Managing their internal state and emotions with increasing independence

  • Handling impulses and behavior with support from adults


You can help your kids develop their emotional intelligence by teaching empathy and encouraging them to think about how others feel.

Start by asking your kids about their feelings:
  • How did it feel when I said it was too cold to go to the park?

  • How did that story make you feel?

When they are more skilled at expressing their own emotions, ask your kids questions about how other people feel:
  • How do you think your sister felt when you took her bear?

  • How do you think the friends in the book felt when they won the race?


Adapted from the Wyoming Early Learning Standards