Just a quick post to release the first free printable activity to accompany the book Buttons the Brave Blue Kitten. This activity is intended to help promote emotional literacy in children 3-8 and can be used without the book too.
CLICK HERE TO ACCESS FREE PRINTABLE COLORING ACTIVITY.
This activity helps children learn to notice what they may look like when experiencing different emotions. This increases self awareness and can help children become more aware of their feelings and when they experience them.
Try labeling children’s feelings when you see them experiencing them as well, this technique also known as “name it to tame it” in the neuroscience world, helps to literally calm the brain by validating the emotion. After you validate your child’s emotion, assist them in expressing the feeling appropriately. “Billy, It looks like you are feeling angry. I can see you are folding your arms and frowning. How would you like to get your anger out? Would you like to rip up this scrap paper or have some alone time in your room?” REMEMBER as you teach children about feelings it is also important to emphasize that everyone has different feelings (even grown ups) and all feelings are OKAY to have. Children should not be reprimanded for experiencing or expressing a feeling, although unsafe BEHAVIORS can warrant logical consequences such as being engaged in the comforting process (“It is okay to be mad, it is not okay to hit people. What can you do to make your brother feel better? He looks sad.”). Children should be encouraged and assisted in finding safe ways to express feelings (coloring, talking about it, etc.).
When you find what works for your child, encourage this when you see your child is experiencing the distressing feeling (anger, sadness, anxiety) and praise your child for using this skill. “I saw you were angry about losing the game and you walked away and took some deep breaths. I really like how you found a safe way to get your anger out. I am so proud of you.”