As a school counselor, one of my greatest joys was teaching my students about their emotions. We would spend weeks and even months building our emotional vocabulary, learning how to identify and name our feelings, and practicing strategies for managing them. I would remind them that emotions are just like reading and math – we have to learn them and practice our skills!
Now in my work as a therapist, I continue to enjoy working with kids and their feelings. But I am also reminded that many of us adults did not receive that purposeful education about our emotions at school or at home. We are not well equipped to recognize them or manage them in healthy ways, so we struggle through and do our best to cope. Often in therapy, the work of my adult clients becomes a great UNlearning of the maladaptive skills we developed while we were doing our best (and we truly were!).
So how do we help the little ones in our lives learn differently? And how do we nurture our inner children as we learn the emotional intelligence skills that we missed when we were younger? While school counselors are increasingly present in schools, our children need the emotional support and learning to also happen at home. Luckily, there is a wealth of resources available these days that can help you get started. I’ve put together a virtual office full of some of my favorites – books, breathing, calming corners, yoga, and more (simply click on the picture to access the resource). And the beautiful part is that you, as the adult, can learn and use the resources right alongside your littles. By doing so, you not only care for yourself, but you role model a healthy relationship with your emotions, and that is one of the most powerful resources you can offer!
As always, Soul Space is here to support you as well! Please feel free to email us at email@example.com if you have questions or are seeking therapy for yourself or your child.