I saw this on a friend’s webpage and I wanted to save it for my kids:
I found this exercise for children rather inspired to help them learn about emotion regulation and normalizing negative emotions for their temporary necessity. I like this for teaching kids there are many normal negative or unpleasant emotions other than anger.
You need: Bubbles
Have your child blow as many bubbles as they want, and let them know that these bubbles are representing all of their negative feelings. This could be sadness, anger, fear… tell them to visualize all of these things going away as the bubbles float on through the air. Once they’re done, repeat the following:
Sadness, tears, worry fears, thank you for you.
You’ve been helpful and you’ve been true.
Into these bubbles it’s you I blow,
So I can smile and let you go!
Remember to talk to them about bottling up emotions and how it’s important to talk through them and let them fly away!
One of the things that make parents call the toddler years The Terrible Twos is because kids have no problem sharing their feelings: extreme happiness, utter devastation, rage, sadness, etc. Kids are learning to express themselves and that is what they are supposed to do. The challenge for parents is accepting that the child is expressing themselves and just …. let it be. According to The Other Baby book:
Babies and toddlers stretch us emotionally by confronting us with feelings that we’ve been taught to dismiss, ignore, or stuff down to get by in Western societies. After all, it wouldn’t be cool for an adult to throw a temper tantrum in a mall or at the supermarket.
How true! I know there have been times when I’ve wanted to throw a tantrum, but it would look for an adult to throw themselves out at the DMV because they only take cash and checks and no one told me that they wouldn’t take cards and who doesn’t take cards nowadays? Ugh!
Anyhoo …. would anyone care to share any strategies for helping kids feel welcome to share their feelings while not losing your sanity?