Emotional Literacy: Exploring and Expressing Emotions
I wonder how you are feeling today?
Let’s help our children to express rather than suppress their feelings.
Let’s help them to accept themselves as they are and that all feelings are ok, even the uncomfortable ones.
Below are two Wonder Tools to grow children’s emotional literacy and self awareness:
Wonder Tool: Wonder Weather Report
I wonder what weather matches how you are feeling? Sunny/cloudy/stormy?
Just like the weather our feelings change. We can’t change the weather or our feelings, but we can cope with them.
Blue sky represents calm. The blue sky is always there, it will never leave us, sometimes it is covered by different types of weather - just like our calm state is affect by our different feelings.
The weather comes and goes, like feelings.
Sun - happiness
Clouds in a blue sky - content
Cloudy - ok, a bit dull
Foggy - confused
Grey clouds - unhappy
Rain - sad/worried
Storm - cross/wild/angry/anxious/scared. Storms and these feelings are intense, but they often don’t last long.
Rainbow - hope
We can cope with different weather types by accepting it is sunny/raining/snowing and using tools to help us deal with it, e.g. umbrella, sun tan lotion, gloves/scarfs, coats, etc.
We can cope with our uncomfortable feelings by accepting them and using our power breath tool, and our many other tools from the Wonder Toolkit, to help us deal with them.
Our feelings are not us, they will pass, just like the weather.
We are still there, just like the blue sky. We will feel calm again.
The Personal Wonder Weather Feelings Report is a child friendly way to talk about feelings. Ask your child to give a ‘weather report’ on how they are feeling, like “I’m feeling cloudy and grey,” or “I’m feeling bright and sunny.” It is also a simple metaphor for older children and us adults to think about feelings in a reassuring way.
Wonder Tool: FAST Check In
Daily or as often as you can spend a few moments being still and going inside.
Notice your F.A.S.T., looking at these rather than from them:
F – Feelings (how do you feel, name/label and accept the feeling)
A – Actions (reflect on your behaviour today, be open minded and remember we are all 'perfectly imperfect', how did / would like to act, imagine you are in someone else's shoes)
S – Sensations (listen to what your body is telling you. Your breath, is it slow or fast? Your muscles, are they tense or relaxed? Your heartbeat, is it slow or fast?)
T – Thoughts (listen to them and notice what is going on in your mind).
Just notice them, don't judge them, create space between you and your FAST, just accept and breathe:
“Breathe and let things be.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
The aim is to make the 'Fast Check-In' one of our healthy habits. If we can practise it whilst we are calm we will then be more able to do it when we are feeling alarmed.
- Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder.
- Do during home school breaktimes or in the evening.