Emotional Literacy

Emotional Literacy

Teaching children, their parents, and their teachers how to use the energy and information of their emotions to live healthier, happier, and more successful lives.

Emotional Literacy is the ability to recognize, understand, and appropriately express our emotions. It’s the first step on the road to Emotional Intelligence, sometimes referred to as “EQ.” When you raise your child’s EQ, they become well adjusted, self confident, empathetic, and emotionally balanced individuals, equipped with the skills needed to make informed decisions throughout the rest of their lives and careers.

In the mid-eighties, while exploring the power and wisdom of my own feelings and then experiencing subsequent physical and emotional healing, I wondered why I was never taught about my emotions as a child. I had been taught everything else, from reading and writing to geography, history, math, physics, and chemistry — the list goes on. However, none of it taught me anything about myself!

Why should we learn about our emotions, relationships, and love through trial and error? Does wisdom come with old age, or can it be taught to children? With these questions in my head, I decided to dedicate the next few years to creating the foundations for a new kind of education system.

This process led me to the development of the Emotional Literacy (EL) program and campaign. Hand-in-hand with this came the first non-profit organization and media company for the promotion of EL. Thus Enchanté Entertainment (now Kids EQ) and Feel.org were born. These ventures are dedicated to teaching children and their parents how to use the energy and information of their emotions to live healthier, happier, and more successful lives. With the help of many friends — teachers, doctors, authors, artists, and business leaders (who became known as the enchanted family) — we conjured a vision of a generation of children who are passionate, compassionate, and empathic.

Enchanté Entertainment / Kids EQ

Focused initially on children’s emotional education, Ayman created Enchanté Entertainment (now called Kids EQ), a media company dedicated to promoting Emotional literacy at home with families and at school. Enchanté published a 21–book series on emotional literacy and a 6–book series on the magic of color. Enchanté and its affiliates also created, produced and released two award-winning feature films and three television series for children. These were created in conjunction with media partners SONY, Warner Brothers, and HBO, along with producers Norman Lear, actress Shelly Duvall, and former Disney animator Jim George.

The Language of Emotional Literacy

Emotional Literacy is universally relevant. It can benefit every individual, every organization, and every profession. It has the capacity to transform each person and their relationships.

Emotional Literacy is a profound and beautiful language available to everyone that can be implemented rapidly, safely, and with lasting effect. Learning how to become emotionally literate is one of the best investments that human beings can make for themselves, their children, and the future.

Emotional Literacy is a key to taking advantage of all possibilities. It is basic to joy and enthusiasm for life and fundamental to your ability to love others.


1993 Ayman and his wife Rowan Gabrielle founded FEEL, the Foundation for Education in Emotional Literacy (feel.org). FEEL was the first non-profit organization committed to raising awareness for emotional literacy. Its quarterly newsletter was mailed to hundreds of thousands of school teachers, universities, and psychologists. In 1997, FEEL merged with Six Seconds, creating a global umbrella organization dedicated to promoting the understanding and practice of emotional intelligence in schools, families, organizations, and communities. Six Seconds recently launched EQ.org a community social network with a vision of having 1 billion people practicing EQ by 2020.

Ayman is co-founder (along with Josh Freedman) of the Feel.org campaign to supply all schools in the country with products, information, and training services for emotional literacy. Soon to be re-launched is the million signature campaign dedicated to raising awareness for the need of emotional literacy as an essential life-skill and a core part of every child’s education, and as a key to success, healthy relationships, and well being.

What is Emotional Literacy? Why is it Important?

EL is key to conscious parenting. It is the first step towards building your emotional intelligence. Becoming emotionally literate is learning the alphabet, grammar, and vocabulary of your emotional life. In a world where academic literacy is increasingly the norm and others are expected (i.e. technological and computer literacies), emotional literacy must become commonplace in order for human beings to grow, evolve, and face the challenges of the future.

As we evolve and our cultures change, new forms of literacy are required to give us the proper tools to deal with a broad and ever-changing spectrum of issues.

Emotions are an integral part of human nature. Through them we respond to life in many different ways, such as with anger, happiness, fear, love, and loneliness. Emotions influence our thoughts and actions; they inspire our needs; they affect our bodies; and they impact our relationships. They are not enemies to be rebuffed, repressed, or rejected but rather allies to be honored, understood, and directed. Ignored, they become willful tyrants. Respected, they are our cherished helpers.

A major contributing factor to many of the problems in modern society is lack of awareness in most people of the vital role played by emotions. Emotional Literacy is a positive preventive tool, which properly understood, can assist society in solving many of its ills. It is the antidote to violence, illness, drug abuse, dysfunctional relationships, and global societal conflicts.

The magic of this program is in the synergy between the illustrated story book, the kids activity book, and the parents’ guide. Try it out with a FREE download of the Anger Set.