Self-Awareness — All Our Feelings Are OK
“There’s nothing to be scared about.”
“Put a smile on your face.”
These well-intentioned responses to a child’s strong emotions might make us feel better, but they actually give a message that their feelings are not okay and that they should hide how they feel. We can instead teach our children to identify their emotions and express those feelings in healthy ways, so they are more capable of handling the challenges that come their way.
An emotion is a reaction to an event. Once the event occurs, we interpret it in our mind, which triggers a physical response and then we respond. How we think about our emotions has an impact on how we experience them. Instead of thinking of emotions as positive or negative, we could label them as comfortable or uncomfortable feelings.
This week the Puppet Kids experience some uncomfortable feelings. Once they identify their feelings, they “talk to their feelings” and learn something about themselves. The Puppet Kids not only learn that all their feelings are natural and welcome, but they eventually change.
Next week we will learn some strategies to handle uncomfortable feelings, but identifying and accepting emotions is the first step. You can help your kids by simply validating their feelings, when they are upset and reflecting it back to them.