I want my kids to be pleasant to be around, but in no way do I want them to be little robots who suppress their feelings. It is neither healthy or human. I want them to be real, but I also want them to show self control and learn to express their emotions in an appropriate way. Today I wanted to talk to my kids about how it is OK to have unpleasant feelings. I was inspired by a chart I found out Elementary Counseling Blog. We decided to make the chart so that they can put a magnet in the column that expresses their emotions. I asked them if it is OK to have feelings of being sad, angry, anxious, or disappointed. They said yes. I gave them a scenario of them wanting a cookie at the grocery store and me deciding they have had too many treats so the answer would be no. I said, “Is it OK to be disappointed.” The answer, of course, is yes. The next question is, “Is it OK to whine and pitch a fit in the grocery store?” The answer, of course, is no. I reviewed some of the choices we can do if we feel angry. I have two posts about that. We talked about using our words to express our emotions. I made sure it was clear that it is OK and normal to feel a variety of emotions, but it is not OK to act out because of those emotions. I hope to continue to give them tools to deal with and process the natural things they will feel in this life.
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” – Proverbs 16:24
I took a yellow, green and red piece of paper. The yellow paper we kept whole. We folded the green and red into thirds and had them cut along the lines. They were then able to glue the red on one side and the green on the other, leaving a yellow column in the middle.
I made an example for them to copy. They both set to work writing down all of the words in the columns: Unpleasant (sad, angry, anxious – you could add disappointed or depressed too), Neutral (calm) and Pleasant (happy, excited).
We then hung up our charts and were able to have our discussion. They can use these charts as a healthy way to express their emotions.