Reading as a Source of Emotional Processing in Children

The use of reading as a source of emotional processing in children can be a very useful tool for their development in this field. Let's discuss what books are most useful for this purpose and what leads to this.
Reading as a Source of Emotional Processing in Children
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Reading is an important activity. For children, it’s even more important: they can use reading as a source of emotional processing. It’s a tool for children to learn and understand their own emotional intelligence.

Reading goes way beyond deciphering letters. In addition to interpreting their meaning, it also creates neurological connections that become more complex as children grow.

As children read, their brains become more varied and detailed while they interpret messages that help them with their emotional memory. From there, they develop a habit of reading as a vital tool for them to learn good values.

A girl lying on the floor reading.

Reading as emotional processing

Parents and teachers alike are important figures in children’s learning. They’re important not just for learning formal and theoretic knowledge but also for knowledge that’s more practical. Emotional processing is one of the areas where they can help.

According to experts, when parents take over tasks that children can do, it becomes likely that the children will feel inferior, useless, or unable to do simple and routine things.

This reinforcement of feelings of inferiority can keep the child in a state of anxiety. Thus, it’s important for adults to stop and show children that they’re very capable.

How can adults show children that they’re useful and can do things on their own? With excellent emotional processing skills. Reading is definitely a tool for developing this.

What books can they read?

Even though any book can be useful for emotional processing, certain books are better than others. If parents and teachers focus on them, their emotional intelligence will increase.

Stories and plays that focus on philosophy for children and teenagers, psychology for children, etc., are the most likely to get them to the point of developing emotional processing skills. They can use their personal abilities and learn to channel their feelings. This is especially important during times of transition. Between the ages of six and eight is one of these times and, of course, during adolescence.

If you think about your own past, any classic story has a lesson hidden inside called a “moral”. Each one of those bits of knowledge belongs, in a way, to the world of philosophy.

Today, many philosophy books focused on children are available. Philosophy specialists in the world of psychological educators and experts have written many books that explore the world from a critical standpoint. This helps children get closer to emotional processing and development.

A boy holds a flashlight so a girl can read on the roof.

What’s available in children’s books for emotional processing?

These types of books tend to narrate nice stories in which the main characters must interpret their own emotions. From this, they receive interesting and practical lessons about the processing of their feelings.

Obviously, the lessons that the main characters learn jump from the page to the minds of the children reading them. As a result, they learn valuable lessons.

“A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

-Mark Twain-

Authors have adapted these same books for adolescents. This is important, as during this time, many feel a bit lost as they leave their childhood identities behind and start on the road to mature adulthood. It’s an important phase in which they must learn to understand and strengthen both their emotions and their emotional intelligence.

Through reading, children reinforce their values. By the time they get to adolescence, they’ll have developed good emotional experiences and tools for their own autonomy. This is all thanks to reading books written especially for them.

In conclusion, reading is a source of emotional processing. Thus, you should take advantage of all the potential that it has to form fulfilled, happy, and responsible people.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Lantieri, L., Goleman D., (2009) Inteligencia emocional infantil y juvenil. Nueva York: Aguilar.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.