By Claudia Rios-Gastelum, LMFT 97284 Para este blog en ESPANOL,
abra este document.
With in person learning beginning this fall and Covid-19 still interrupting our lives, we thought it would be good to remember our four part series last fall on Childhood Anxiety. We hope the wisdom of our therapists brings healing, help and hope to you and your children as we continue to navigate our new normal.
Supporting emotional intelligence is a family affair. Including activities that support emotional awareness and problem solving skills in daily or weekly family interactions allows children and family members to reinforce these behaviors in times of need. Children learn best through witnessing adults and other family members engaging in prosocial behaviors, repetition of skills and being acknowledged with praise when they practice the skills. Here are a few ways that we can practice emotional intelligence as a family:
1) Daily Emotional Check-ins: I like to do daily emotional check-ins with family that I call “Highs and Lows.” I ask each family member to describe their “high”, any event or activity that they would like to enjoy again or was the best part of their day. Additionally, we share “lows” which are events they disliked, wished they could change or have a do-over. During these emotional check-ins, the adults practice listening empathetically and acknowledging
the child’s responses as valid.
2) Emotion Visuals: I believe that all children benefit from having images of different emotions in different mediums such as books, coloring books, or self-made drawings. You can create an individualized feelings chart by having your child draw the different emotions they can name or actual pictures of the child demonstrating the emotion. I use this feelings chart in conjunction with the daily check-ins.
3) Playing Feelings Board Games: There are many ways that parents can turn a typical board game into a ‘feelings’ board game. Families can make their own deck of feelings matching game by making two sets of a feeling face (emojis or printing feeling faces work well). When a feeling is matched, the player who matched the emotion shares something that triggers that emotion. The game of Jenga, which is the game of wood blocks that are slowly pulled out from the tower without toppling it, is also a great game because emotions can be written on the wood blocks in marker. Each player takes turns sharing a time they felt that emotion. There are great examples and visuals of turning board games into feeling games on Pinterest or Youtube.