Category Archives: Health

Teaching Kids About Emotions: What They Can Control

I have a worrier. I should have expected it, after all, I am a worrier. To be exact, I have Anxiety Disorder. You would think that I could understand my child more because I too suffer from this issue. But would you believe me when I say that it actually makes it much worse? I know why they feel this way, but since I have no control over my own emotions, fears, and anxieties I have no idea how to help them, deal with theirs. It is a terrible feeling being unable to help your child deal with something you cannot even deal with.

Since my kids are returning to school soon, I wanted to help my worrier be ready and find some ways to deal with things. I found this really helpful teacher set from Teachers Pay Teachers. It is meant to help teachers show their students how to deal with emotions in the classroom, but I have found it to be a very helpful tool at home as well.

Teaching kids about emotions

I ordered the digital version and printed it out at home. We put it in the bedroom and it has helped my worrier to visualize what they can and cannot control in their world. He and I look at it when we are in the midst of an anxiety episode. We see what we can control, and remind ourselves what is outside of our control. And we talk about what we can go do instead to ease our worry. We even made a list of ways that we love to ease our fears and anxieties. Now we are on our way to helping one another deal with our overly active emotions.

Why am I an Angry Mom: An Article that has given me PEACE

As parents we expect a lot of our kids, but perhaps it isn’t our kids we are expecting a lot from. It’s us. I don’t know about you but I did not get a manual when I brought my first kid home. And it just got more complicated as we brought home more kids. I love my children, and I have taken parenting classes, read books, and I try so very hard to be perfect for them. But EVERY kid is different, and nothing can truly prepare you for it ALL.

I recently came across this blog, A Mother Far From Home. It featured an article entitled “Why Am I an Angry Mom?” I never thought of myself as an angry mom. I do have a short temper, and I have very active and busy kids. So when it gets to be too much I have noticed — I yell. I had a Dad that yelled, and I remember flinching when he was mad. His voice was so loud and he seemed so mad I thought he was mad at me. It wasn’t until I yelled when my daughter dropped something in the kitchen (cheerios people, everywhere) and saw her flinch that I realized what I had viewed as my Dad being mad at me was just him being annoyed that there was more work to do. So I took a step back. And when I saw this article I realized that I wasn’t alone in my reactions. But perhaps, with a little help, I could find a new way to react.

I’m not saying I am perfect now, and I am not saying you will be either. But I am saying it has helped me to recognize when I need to step back and react differently. I hope that it helps some of you too!

Best Books: The One and Only Ivan

In a world where we are being faced with bullying, loneliness, and school shootings it is hard to completely understand the fears, isolation, and loneliness that children and teens are dealing with. As adults, we see the world as it is, but children are still learning how the world functions, and how to deal with the emotions that result from living in that world. Sometimes children need help to understand those emotions.

Katherine Applegate’s book, The one and Only Ivan introduces a lonely and isolated Gorilla that has lived in captivity for 27 years. Ivan meets a baby elephant named Ruby that has been taken from the wild. Throughout the novel the two interact on a human level, they share their fears, their hopes, their dreams. As readers, we get to see the world from Ivan’s perspective. It details the essence of childhood. The limits of understanding, the boxed in protection that becomes a cage, the loss of innocence as the real world takes shape around them, but through it, all is a friendship and humor that helps them to navigate this strange world. The world that Applegate has created allows children to place themselves in Ivan’s place and follow him on his journey of self-actualization and his quest into the real world of adulthood. Throughout this journey, the readers are able to confront their own emotions and reconcile their own experiences with loneliness and isolation.

The one and only Ivan

The book brings humor, joy, and sadness as it tells the story of Ivan and Ruby. Readers will enjoy the friendship and humor as they learn some deeper lessons. It makes for an excellent read, and if parents read it as well it can open up doors and opportunities for discussion about what kids are really going through today.