The Six Core Emotions
The six core emotions are innate to all people, of all ages and cultures. They can be felt in varying degrees individually, or blended together, consisting of:
Response to the loss of something or someone significant
Response to a threat of harm, real or imagined
Response to being connected
Response to being startled by an unexpected event
Response to injustice or powerlessness to protect something or someone
Response to avoid something or someone offensive
When children are asked to identify their emotions to express what is bothering them, they usually find it fairly easy using an illustrated chart like this one.
All emotions are important to us, even the difficult ones; they are part of nature’s natural warning system. Children are born with an innate ability to adapt and survive in their environment. As a result of this, they are naturally expressive without needing to use words; think of a crying baby being able to let you know they are hungry, tired, thirsty, cold, hot or bored.
But all children, in every walk of life, will struggle with their emotions from time to time. Modern family life is complex and ignoring or suppressing how we feel can result in children becoming more sad, angry and/or fearful, or even completely shutting down. Parents, carers and teachers sometimes struggle to identify, and effectively deal, with the emotions that children display. The Finding Your Way books and school programmes have been developed to offer a safe and proven approach for teaching emotional wellbeing throughout childhood.