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Engaging in Social and Emotional Learning together is one of the most valuable gifts you can give your child and family. Bru’Me and his friends are so excited to take you on this magical journey!
This is the Feeling Happy and Safe Series. Work through each module and their respective lessons in sequential order, starting here with ‘Feelings’. At the end of each lesson, mark the lesson as complete, click on the ‘next lesson’ and move on. The most important thing is to have fun and use the story, activities, chats, and games to connect with your child and engage together in the wonderful world of social and emotional learning.
Building Block 1: Feelings
It is really important to understand and talk about the way that we feel and how our feelings can influence our choices and the way we behave.
The skills you will be teaching your child are self-awareness, self-management, goal or values directed behaviour and social awareness.
Put more simply, throughout this building block you will be encouraging your child to become increasingly aware of their emotions and teaching them techniques to calm themselves down so that they can think before they act and choose positive helpful, empowering responses to difficult or uncomfortable situations. You will also be teaching your child to become more tuned in to how other people feel so that they can be empathetic and kind to them through their words and actions.
The values you and your child will be practising are respect, kindness, empathy, integrity and personal responsibility.
More specifically the story, activities, chats, and games in this building blocks will teach your child:
- We all have lots of different feelings: some are happy feelings and some are not. Feelings are not right or wrong, they are just feelings and all of them are important.
- If I listen to my body, it will help me understand how I feel.
- How I act when I feel a certain way can be either hurtful or helpful.
- I can choose what I do and how I act when I feel a certain way.
- Bubble breathing! This helps me to think more clearly when my feelings make me all confused so that I can choose to do something helpful.
- Different people have different feelings. It is important for me to understand how other people feel.
- I can help other people feel better when they have sad feelings.
Here are some useful things to remember when teaching your child to acknowledge and manage their feelings.
- Observe your child’s feelings rather than judge them. This gives them the message that feelings are an appropriate part of life and it is safe for them to express how they feel. For example, if your child was crying it would be constructive to say, ”I can see that you are very upset, would you like to tell me what happened?” rather than, “Stop crying, I don’t like a cry baby.”
- Help your children find the words to express how they feel. Our bodies give us the best clues as to how we are feeling. It is helpful to link the word that describes the emotion to the body clues you are observing. For example, “I can see by the look on your face, your clenched fists, and the way that you are shouting that you are very angry.”
- Communicate your feelings clearly and honestly. Children learn from the example you set. “I feel very frustrated when I struggle to learn something new. What are the things that make you feel frustrated? Neither of us wants to feel frustrated, so what can we do differently so that we don’t feel frustrated?”
- If your child is overwhelmed by strong negative emotions like fear, anxiety, sorrow, anger, or disappointment take the time to help them process the emotion. One of the following suggestions might be helpful.
- Suggest they take a few deep breaths. If they are too upset, it helps to put your arm around them and do the deep breathing with them.
- Help them to take time out to cool off. This is particularly helpful when children are very angry.
- Take a few minutes to go with them and sit in a sunny spot outside or a quiet spot in the house.
- Do something they enjoy like reading, drawing or a quick run around the garden.
- Help them to explain how they feel and why.
- Help them to ask for help if they need it.
- When you are feeling overwhelmed by negative emotions try to demonstrate these helpful ways of processing your emotions.
Please watch the below video.
Fantastic to get reminded about modelling. I do it through storytelling but yes of course we do it all the time ourselves as well so being reminded of that is wonderful.