Throughout the last years, the emotional education of children is a subject that is placing, fortunately, a lot of emphasis and attention. Both families and schools are concerned and interested in how to educate the emotions and feelings of their children or students and, in this way, enable them to
Throughout the last years, the emotional education of children is a subject that is placing, fortunately, a lot of emphasis and attention. Both families and schools are concerned and interested in how to educate the emotions and feelings of their children or students and, in this way, enable them to obtain greater opportunities for personal, social and academic success.
Differences between emotions and feelings in childhood
Although we often speak of emotions or feelings as if they were synonyms, the truth is that they are not exactly. To differentiate emotion from feeling in an easy way we can say that emotion is a short-term physiological, cognitive and behavioral reaction to a certain stimulus that causes the following 7 basic emotions: sadness, joy, fear, anger, disgust, surprise or shame
Feelings, on the other hand, are the result of our evaluation of emotions. It is a more lasting and stable mood. To give a practical example we can say that from emotion sadness can open a range of different feelings: despair, loneliness, depression, apathy, ... depending on the psychological evaluation we make of that first emotional reaction.
So, feelings that are nothing but the conscious and subjective evaluation of emotions, can be educated just as we do with emotions: through games, stories or different activities that we can carry out with children.
Resources and strategies to educate the feelings of children
In order to educate feelings and emotions, we must:
1. Provide children with the necessary emotional vocabulary to identify how they feel, working self-knowledge (ability to name our emotions and feelings),
2. Stimulate social skills acquisition as important as empathy, that is, they are able to put themselves in the place of the other, recognize and accept their physical, cultural or emotional differences.
3. Work self-control, the ability to handle strong emotions and not get carried away by the first impulse.
For this we can usedifferent resources like the ones we propose here.
1. We can create our own album of emotions and feelings by collecting photos of people, animals or cartoons that express different emotional states. It is about observing the images, which we can cut out of magazines or newspapers, and name the emotion that it represents. Once identified, we ask the child to explain what this person may have felt like, how he would feel in his place and what he could do in case he needs help. In this way we work on the emotional vocabulary, we evaluate the emotion generating a feeling and finally we look for the empathic relationship between the character and the child.
2. Stories and stories sin are undoubtedly an excellent material to work on the emotions and feelings of children since they provide the right climate to establish an excellent connection with what our children feel. At present there are many titles focused on working for example jealousy, joy, sadness, loneliness, ... but it is not necessary that we all acquire them, any classic story or not, is perfectly valid to educate the feelings of the children. In all of them we see reflected different feelings in which we can emphasize and reflect together with the children about what is happening and why. Generally, the stories that are presented in them show the consequences of not having control over emotions or offering adequate responses to how to manage anger
Play to 'Now I feel ... because ...' . This is a game that we can put into practice at any time, it is about the child learning to think and verbalize how they feel in a certain situation, for example when they lose a toy, watch TV or go to the park. The best thing is for the adult to start saying, for example, 'Now I feel happy because I am with you', 'Now I feel calm because I am at home', .... These examples facilitate emotional expression and generate the conscious evaluation that gives rise to the feeling that arises from it. These are just three examples of how to educate the feelings of children. Any daily situation is an excellent opportunity to offer children the emotional tools they will need for the rest of their lives: self-knowledge, self-control, social skills and responsible decision-making.