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We develop emotional literacy by adopting a Thrive approach. The Thrive Approach helps adults understand children’s emotions and behaviours.  It is an integrated approach, which is crucial in order to provide a model  that is systematic, dynamic and relevant  in helping  adults  respond  to  specific individual emotional needs. When children are thrown emotionally off track, Thrive helps adults understand their needs, it gives adults the skills to attune to the children, providing targeted strategies and activities to help them re-engage and aid their learning experience.

To develop a child’s healthy sense of themselves, there are 4 key ways to contribute positively to building solid relationships: Attunement, Validation, Containment and Soothing/Regulating.

  • Attune: Alertness to how they are feeling, demonstrating attuning to their emotional state and showing that you can catch how they are feeling through: facial expressions, body language and gestures. It is important to demonstrate that you understand the intensity of their emotional state.

  • Validate: Remaining alert to the child’s experience by validating their perspective/feeling.“It’s really hard when you have to say goodbye to Mummy. I wonder if you feel….” This needs to happen before starting to help them regulate themselves and to begin thinking about feelings.

  • Contain: Demonstrating the understanding of their feelings and helping to make their distress survivable. A shared experience builds trust in adults and the wider world.

  • Soothe/Regulate: Finally, soothing and calming their distress. Children need to regularly experience being calmed before they can do it for themselves.


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