Connect the fam challenge day 7
Feelings and emotions seems to be taboo words for many families. That’s crazy. We all need to talk about our feelings—kids especially. As adults, we’ve had the luxury of working through our emotions for years and years. Our children haven’t. Often they aren’t sure exactly what they’re feeling. Hence the 3-year-old tantrum or the 15-year-old melancholy. Those tantrums and melancholy are just your children trying to express their emotions and feelings to the best of their ability. Keep that in mind the next time they act out.
Adults don’t even like talking about their feelings—and they’ve got a better handle on them than most children. Just think how scary it may be for your children to talk about things they don’t exactly understand or can describe.
As parents we do a pretty good job of making sure that we take care of their physical needs. We need to give that same energy for how they’re feeling.
Sitting down with your children and declaring, “let’s talk about how you’re feeling” is usually going to have the opposite outcome as they may feel like they’re being forced to talk about something they may not be ready to talk about.
If talking about feelings isn’t something that’s done a lot in your family, it may be easier to start by talking about those feelings in general terms. Talking in general terms at the beginning makes your children more comfortable about eventually talking about their feelings in specifics.
This game is to help children understand when they are feeling certain feelings. It also helps parents understand better how their children are feeling. This game can be played in a family group or one-on-one depending on the needs of your children.
It’s played just like regular memory, except when someone gets a match they must make the following statement about that emotion, “I feel (emotion) when.” For example, “I feel happy when we play games as a family.” “I feel sad when Chloe won’t sit next to me.”
The game continues until all the pieces are matched.
For some children it’s easier for them to visualize emotions if they are able to relate to the pieces they are seeing which is why there is a boy and a girl version of this game.
Download: Emotion Memory-boy
Download: Emotion Memory-girl
Download: Emotion Memory back
Who Am I Collage
This activity works especially well with older children as it gives them a way to express their feelings. Using old magazines, newpapers, images, paper, glue, scissors, markers and paper have your child create a collage with a theme—child’s personality, interests or feelings.
When they are done have your child explain what they have created.This is particularly helpful in working with teenage children to learn more about their thinking process and how they view themselves and the world around them. This is a great activity to use the step of Effective Communication to make sure you understand how your child is feeling.