Understanding our own and reading the emotions of others is sometimes a difficult task, especially for young children and adolescents. Using books, movies and games to assist with this skill is a great way for kids (and adults) to have fun and talk about a sometimes difficult topic.
Below are some great books, movies, and games to help.
My Many Colored Days by Seuss – illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. This book is for the younger set but older kids might find matching feeling to colors helpful. And, besides, how can you go wrong with Dr. Seuss?!
Play “Emotional Animals” – it’s like charades but everyone knows who you are (click here for the game specs). Even your teens may consider participating….as long as none of their friends are watching!!
The Way I Feel by Janan Cain – beautifully illustrated and covers a variety of emotions
How to Take the Grrrr Out of Anger – a small book packed with a variety of tools to help parents and kids manage anger.
A new version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” – sing to the familiar tune and substitute any emotion for kids and adults to rolemodel what they think that emotion might look or sound like. This helps kids see what emotions look like on the outside and how other people may express their emotions differently.
Pick-A-Movie – almost any kid-friendly movie has at least something to do with the protagonist reacting to emotions. A couple of good ones include:
oThe Lion King - Simba runs away because he is scared and feels guilty
oFrozen – Elsa can’t deal with her fear so she hides away and, well, you know what happens when she bottles up her fear.
Deal with Feelings Series by Elizabeth Crary – the books deal with a variety of emotions and help kids distinguish between feelings and actions. The books have a “choose your own ending” format that helps kids and parents discuss different ways they can deal with their emotions.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that over eight million kids move with their families annually. That’s a whole lot of emotions!! No parent should move without a written game plan to help your children deal with the difficulties they face when moving.
For more information about the Moving Families Initative, please visit www.movingfamiliesinitiative.com.