Managing feelings and emotions at Tops Day Nurseries

We recognise that effective management of children’s feelings and emotions is vital for their mental health.

At Tops we respect that young children require help in understanding the range of feelings they experience. We help children recognise their feelings by naming them and helping children to express them, making a connection verbally between the event and the feeling.

Children need to learn to consider the views and feelings, needs and rights, of others and the impact that their behaviour has on people, places and objects. This is a developmental task that requires support, encouragement, teaching and setting the correct example. The principles that underpin how we achieve positive and considerate behaviour exist within the settings for promoting personal, social and emotional development.

We understand that self-management of intense emotions, especially of anger is very difficult for children to cope with and they need supportive adult role model to help them. We do not engage in issuing punishment to a young child’s rage as we believe this will have the opposite effect.

Our way of responding to pre-verbal children is to calm them through holding and cuddling or ignoring unwanted behaviour as appropriate. Verbal children will also respond to cuddling to calm them down, but we offer them an explanation and discuss the incident with them to their level of understanding

We help young children learn to empathise with others, understanding that they have feelings too and that their actions impact on others. We support social skills through modelling behaviour, through activities, drama and stories.

We build self-esteem and confidence in children, recognising their emotional needs through close and committed relationships with them. We recognise that babies and very young children are unable to always regulate their own emotions, such as fear, anger or distress, and require sensitive adults to role-model to help them do this.

We focus on ensuring a child’s attachment figure in the setting, their key person, is building a strong relationship to provide security to the child.

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