You know you’re a nerd when brain science gets you excited. But brain based interventions are great research driven effective strategies for working with children whether you are a parent, foster parent, babysitter, counselor, or teacher! I attended a training today that addressed brain science and the effects of trauma and chronic stressors like poverty on children’s brains. Great take away message: the brain can be changed in positive ways with safe, nurturing, and cognitively stimulating interactions!
The importance of using visuals to teach feelings and telling children specifically what to do when feeling a certain way (ie squeeze your hands together when angry to keep yourself from hitting someone) were discussed in the training as well. This type of intervention to visually and logically/ verbally teach feelings and how to react to them helps literally strengthen the connection between the right and left hemispheres of the brain (corpus callosum). This further helps children learn how to connect socially and manage their behavior in age appropriate ways. What great news and what a simple intervention that can be done even on a daily basis!! In my therapy office, I have a feelings check in board with face images along with coping skills.
How to: Hobby Lobby- use wooden board, small wooden circles, acrylic paint, and put magnets on the back. Children can learn to identify feelings in general, identify their current emotional state, practice coping skills and process feelings surrounding events using feelings visuals.