A Head for Feelings

Introduction

As energy levels drop I often think about feelings and how I can help my three identify them and respond to them.

I want them to greet them, be patient with them and be confident in finding their way back to their happy place (if they’re not currently there!).

Working as a teacher has left me unsure about always striving for your very best academic best. Obviously I want them to enjoy, value and make good progress at school. My concerns are about a best that knows no limits to time, rest and play. And feelings.

I’ve seen way too many students, especially sixth formers, anxious about achieving success; worried that they won’t get to where they want to be in the time frame they’ve set themselves. Worried that they’re letting people down, themselves down. The pressure doesn’t seem to come from a particular source, it feels more like a reflection of the whole world that we live in.

Teaching has left me far more eager to help them manage and respond to their feelings and emotions, in what can feel like a results driven, pressurised world.

Anyway, I’m hoping we are still at the acorn stage. That we can give them a childhood of identifying, celebrating and/or responding to feelings and emotions. And that this will help them to lay the foundations for a happy and fulfilling life.

Excuse all the feelings in this post!!!

It feels like such a balance to negotiate; this post is perhaps a bit of a work in progress, so please feel free to chip in!

One thing I’m conscious of is not wanting them to feel that they always need to fix and squash feelings. After all sometimes you just need time, a bit of space and to make a bit of noise!

In short, I’ve gone with the view that talking about feelings and ideas to help yourself and others has to be a good thing.

Instructions; I’ve got a Head for Feelings

The boys love the headbandz game – if it’s a favourite in your house too, read on for how you could adapt it. And if you don’t have headbandz read on for an alternative!*

  • Write feelings on cards – ones you wish could stay forever and ones you want to clear off! We came up with…proud, magical, sad, mean, happy, nice, card for, challenged, angry, cared for, sorry, confused, giggly, magical (?) and left out.
  • One person has the job of guesser. The rest are in charge of acting out the feeling. The guesser wears the headbandz with the feeling slotted in. *if you don’t have headbandz just display the card where the guesser can’t see it (or take a look and turn the card over!).
  • The guesser guesses correctly (at times you might struggle to believe it, but it will happen eventually if enough hints have been given! 😂😂)
  • Have a chat about the feeling and how it affects them / you. Start to strategise about how you can help yourself and indeed others that have or don’t have this feeling!
  • Some possible conversation starters – Can you sometimes avoid certain feelings coming around in the first place? (Translates as “eat your breakfast” often in our house!) Are feelings you don’t like ever useful? What can you do to encourage good feelings?

How it went for us

I went with this activity because we had lots of feelings last week!! So many feelings. So by definition it was always going to be tiring! But I expected that, so it was okay. I felt that it was a very useful process and one that I plan to build on – watch this space! Or don’t, up to you, go with your feelings….

Follow up Activity; “Better Board”

Soon you will be able to click here to see what we did with all of our ideas for making us and others feel better. Still working on it!

If you like ideas for getting your kids to talk you might like this happy chatty talking activity or this one!

Thanks for reading and thanks millions if you add in and help me make sense of it all!

8 comments

  1. Oh I love this!! It’s so important for children to learn to express how they feel but also to know that it’s ok to feel a certain way and that they can take a bit of time to process their feelings!! What a great post! Thank you for sharing!!! Xx

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! It sums up my main points perfectly. Lovely to be “got” if that makes sense – brain feels like permanent mush with lack of sleep so great to know that I can still make a bit of sense! Xx 😂😂

      1. 🤣🤣 mush 😂😂 I know how that feels all too well. oh you do make sense lovely! I truly enjoy reading your posts! Xx

      2. Maybe it takes a brain mush to “get” a brain mush 😂😂 Must get to sleep, late to bed as not had the normal wake up so today sleep deprivation self inflicted! Hope you get a good night xx

  2. A great idea. Feelings were not discussed in my young days other than they were to be kept under control. As for school, it was a place you went to learn and study. Being happy at school wasn’t considered very important. I went to a very happy preschool though. It was run by my mother. Best time ever!

    1. Ah that’s so lovely! A happy preschool run by your mother sounds perfect 😁😁😁 And thank you, still work to be done but everyone seems happier for the rest (Easter holidays) so plan to leave it a a few more days before hoping they’ll make a better bush with some coping strategies on it..

We would love to hear from you in the comments!