Permission To Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive

January 4, 2021 - 2 minutes read

By: Marc Brackett, Ph.D.

As early childhood educators we have heard of and are probably implementing the Pyramid Model in our early childhood environments. While Permission to Feel is not based on the Pyramid Model, the concepts, ideas, and points of reflection throughout the book definitely support the SEL focus of the Pyramid Model and the foundation of early childhood environments. The author, Dr. Brackett, discusses the importance of putting words to feelings through an intentional process of integrating the RULER method and the Charter.

The RULER method, developed by Brackett and outlined in this book, is a way to support whole school communities to understand the value of emotions, build the skills of emotional intelligence, and create and maintain a positive educational environment. The letters of RULER stand for:

Recognizing Emotion

Understanding Emotion

Labeling Emotion

Expressing Emotion

Regulating Emotion

Through learning the various skills of the RULER method, Brackett also outlined the importance of what he calls “the Charter”. The Charter is an intentional way of setting the tone of environments and relationships. Specifically, the Charter is a written document that details how everyone in the environment wants to feel. The feeling words are based in the Mood Meter.  The Mood Meter, another creation by Brackett and his team, is a model that defines emotions in a 2-dimensional way: pleasantness and energy.

As Brackett states at the conclusion of one chapter, “When we unlock the wisdom of emotions, we can raise healthy kids who will both achieve their dreams and make the world a better place.” With that being said, this book is a great guide to moving towards or continuing an early childhood environment that focuses on the importance of emotions for both educators/staff and children.

Reviewed By: Anni Reinking

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