Emotions Matter

RULER starts with everyone in the school community acknowledging the importance of emotions. Emotions matter, and they affect everything we do. Research shows that emotions influence:

  • What we pay attention to, remember, and learn
  • The decisions we make
  • Our ability to be creative, think critically, and solve problems
  • How we feel both mentally and physically
  • How well we form and maintain relationships
  • Our performance at school, at home, and in the workplace

By acknowledging the value of emotions in our everyday effectiveness, RULER aims to infuse the principles of emotional intelligence into the immune system of each school, informing how leaders lead, teachers teach, students learn, and families support students.

The resources included on this page will help you to practice the emotion skills your child is learning at school.

The Skills & Tools of Emotional Intelligence

RULER is an acronym for the five skills of emotional intelligence.¬†RULER skill development relies on four core tools, which are introduced to¬†the school community‚ÄĒschool leaders, teachers, staff, students, and families.

To learn more about RULER as a parent or caregiver, listen to Emotional Intelligence: Managing Our Feelings. This Wisconsin Public Radio interview features Nikki Elbertson, Director of Content and Communications from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

Giving Each Other Permission to Feel

The Mood Meter enhances self- and social awareness and supports the development of emotion vocabulary and a range of strategies for regulating emotion.

Watch our webinar recording Check In! Using the Mood Meter for Families.

Download the Mood Meter Overview to become more familiar with this RULER Tool.

Download the Mood Meter Strategies resource to learn more about healthy emotion regulation using the Mood Meter. 

Create your own Mood Meter or print one out by clicking the links below!

Managing How We Want to Feel at Home Together

The Family Charter is an agreement we make to act in ways that help us to feel the way we want to feel at home.

Watch our webinar recording How We Want to Feel at Home: Creating a Family Charter.

Download the Charter Overview to become more familiar with this RULER Tool.

Download the Creating a Family Charter resource to create a more positive climate at home.

Getting Conversations About Emotions Started

Conversation starters are designed to get your family talking about social and emotional skills at home. There are three types of activities: “Talk About It,” “Do It Together,” and “Did You Notice?”

Download the conversation starters that correspond with your child’s age by clicking the links below.

Grades K-1 (English)
Grades 2-3 (English)
Grades 4-5 (English)

Grades K-1 (Spanish)
Grades 2-3 (Spanish)
Grades 4-5 (Spanish)

Tips for Building Stronger Family Relationships

When it comes to recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotions in families, there are actions we can take to feel better and build strong relationships.

Learn some tips we can all practice to help families feel better and build stronger relationships. Download your tipsheet by clicking the links below.

Families Tipsheet (English)
Families Tipsheet (Spanish)
Families Tipsheet (Mandarin)

Recommended Reading

  1. Permission to Feel, by Marc Brackett, Ph.D
  2. Pride and Joy, by Kenneth Barish, Ph.D
  3. Creating Compassionate Kids, by Shauna Tominey, Ph.D
  4. Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids; How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting, by Dr. Laura Markham
  5. No Drama Discipline:The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, by Dan Siegel, M.D.
  6. Emotionally Intelligent Parenting, How to Raise a Self-Disciplined, Responsible, Socially Skilled Child, by Maurice Elias, Ph.D, Steven Tobias, Psy.D, & Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D
  7. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
  8. Raising Emotionally Intelligent Teenagers, by Maurice Elias, Steven Tobias, Brian Friedlander
  9. Uncommon Sense for Parents with Teenagers, by Mike Riera
  10. What Great Parents Do, by Erica Reischer, Ph.D
  11. How to Build Emotional Resilience in Your Kids: 7 Expert Tips for Story Time, by Lynda Dell