A child understanding emotion

September 4, 2015 § Leave a comment



I was contacted by Deirdre*, a friend of a friend this week as she had seen the emotions project before.

Deirdre’s son is 6, she split from his dad 3 1/2 years ago. She told me that “His dad isn’t great about talking through things with his son and I’ve been struggling to get Ben to acknowledge how he felt about his Dad moving away recently with his girlfriend and their daughter. I didn’t want to push him on it or put words in his mouth so instead made up a character called Bob who gets sad when he thinks sad thoughts but doesn’t talk to people about how he feels.”

Ben wanted the character to be him and started to draw what he thinks about that makes him sad. 

“He sees sadness as an upside down blue heart in his chest and happiness as a bright beating heart. We are going to leave the character there and Ben can change his emotion if he wants to show how he’s feeling but doesn’t want to talk about it.” 

She found it really helpful “because boys/men generally don’t talk about their feelings and I don’t want Ben to grow up like that.”

“We were just talking about that movie (Inside Out). It’s great for helping children understand the different emotions they’re feeling. I also talk to him about the law of attraction as best I can for a six year. I was brought up to believe ‘imagine the worst and you won’t be disappointed’ that’s a nice negative outlook lol”

Some context for the the importance of children learning words for emotion: can be found in this article.

* Names have been changed for reasons of confidentiality

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