My anxiety is rising, and I’m sure yours is too. Wednesday night was the last time, for the immediate future, that I had dear friends over for dinner. My heart is heavy, wondering about my job and even heavier thinking about those who no longer have jobs and how they are going to make it this month.
Unfortunately, our kids are also feeling the stress of the unknown and uncertain. You may have observed they are a bit more prone to meltdowns, a lot of energy, clinginess, irritability, and anxiety in the last few weeks. As much as we want to protect them from the chaos of today’s world, we can only do so much. But we can help them learn to manage their feelings as we continue caring for our own emotions.
As I work with children and their families, I notice that I find comfort from children’s books. They are simple and sweet, a marker of a more innocent and carefree time. Somehow, they communicate complicated ideas in simple ways. So in the spirit of practicing self-compassion, here are three books that teach children and adults how to tend to their big feelings and find moments of peace.
In this book, Moody Cow has a terrible day and gets pretty angry and frustrated. Thankfully, he has a grandpa who knows how to calm and soothe Moody Cow! This book also has a craft that goes with it: a meditation jar. You will need a mason jar with a lid, hot water, a bottle of glue, a lot glitter (a few different colors and sizes would be best), and a hot glue gun to seal the lid. This is one of my favorite things to make with kids in the therapy room, and they have such a blast doing it. (Ages 4+)
Listening To My Body helps kids and parents begin to notice the cues in our bodies that tell us when we are feeling something. This is something we all need to be taught but especially kids as they are learning to notice what is happening in their bodies. Gabi Garcia talks about sensations, feelings, and being gentle with ourselves so that we become more self-aware people. (Ages 6+)
Visiting Feelings depicts how emotions come and go and how we can care for them when we feel them. It offers suggestions for how to ground ourselves and be aware of what we are feeling without being overwhelmed. This is something both kids and adults can practice. (Ages 4+)
This blog was written by Jess Hites. To learn more about her visit her profile here.
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