"Today we're going to be talking about feeling."
It's Tuesday morning at the Sunnyside Learning Center in Fresno and these preschoolers are trying to master more than just shapes and colors.
For about a month now, the 3 and 4-year-olds have been learning about emotions and how to identify different moods. Instructors say the lessons have made a huge difference in the kid's behavior.
"They use their words and they can tell each other now, 'well how do you feel?' and go ask 'how do you feel?'"
A lot of experts think it's important to teach kids about empathy. They feel it's crucial little ones are able to put themselves in others shoes. That ability is recognized as one of the key ways to encourage healthy social interaction.
"It's very important because everything we do involves being around other people."
Maria De La Torre works with teachers to put these new emotional education sessions in place. She says the lessons are becoming increasingly more common in preschools all over California.
The ultimate goal is to prevent problem behavior like bullying before it starts. "When you're teaching these socialization skills, children feel more confident, secure. They're able to manage anger and frustration."
But no matter how many times your child learns about managing emotions at school, adults must also set an example at home. Otherwise all the lessons in the world, might not make a difference.
"The parents are the role models. You have to set good examples. Children learn from their parents. So we have to be very careful to set those good examples."
If you'd like more information on preschool bullying and what to look for... We have a link on our website to an online guide. Just go to KSEE24.com and click on Newslinks. We also have a reading list of books that can help you talk with your child about emotions.