Young Children

Language enables children to develop organization and focus that aids in understanding and managing emotions.

Communication skills that develop during the preschool years form the foundation for literacy (Hart and Risley, 1995). Early communication skills also form the foundation for self-regulation. The ability of young children to understand what is said to them, express themselves in words, and know what tone of language the situation requires makes a unique and important contribution. Language enables them to develop organization and focus and to understand and manage emotions (e.g., Long, Gurka, and Blackman, 2008). Young children’s knowledge and use of words that describe their internal state and the internal state of others is particularly important. Self-awareness of our own internal state makes it possible to adjust it when needed so that it is compatible with achieving our goals. Awareness of the internal state of others promotes respect as well as empathy. I have developed a program to help children learn the knowledge and use of internal state words. I also provide guidance and support to teachers and parents in helping young children to strengthen every aspect of their communication skills.