Continuing with the theme of “All about me,” we’ve been reading and expressing the emotions we see and feel. Mon Cœur (MC) and I experience a range of feelings and moods throughout the day together, and I have always tried to express myself:
- “I am so happy to see you cleaned your room like I asked.”
- “I am so sad you did not take your nap.”
- “I am frustrated you are not listening.”
- “I am so excited to see you reading a book by yourself!”
And MC is practicing explaining her feelings too, when she is upset. Mostly I hear, “You hurt my feelings!” and I have to ask for a reason why. I made her do something, I said something in a stern voice, I delivered a consequence that was promised if she did not change her behavior. “If you don’t stop drinking the bath water, then I will drain the tub for the evening…Okay, I’m draining the tub.”
Way Past Mad
A recent library find, Way Past Mad, written by Hallee Adelman and illustrated by Sandra de la Prada allowed us to explore emotions some more, as well as have some meaningful conversations about emotions and how to handle them.
RELATED: I mentioned one conversation we had which stemmed indirectly from the book in this previous post.
The story is about an older sister who is upset by all of the things that her little brother messes up. She finds herself way past mad. So mad, that she lets it out and it rubs off on her friend who tries to help her.
I love how Hallee describes the emotions as being contagious in a way – the mad is like a rash that spreads and swells. Later when she is able to process her feelings and talk it out with the friend, she turns her emotions to happy, which is like a smile that spreads and swells.
It talks about our mad making us say things we don’t mean, how emotions can be contagious, and how we can turn around our mindset and our moods.
Happy Hippo, Angry Duck
Another emotions book we read is a fun little book by Sandra Boynton, which touches on a whole spectrum of moods, Happy Hippo, Angry Duck. It gave us an opportunity to talk about synonyms (angry and mad), look at facial expressions to determine feelings, and talk about how feelings can change over time and day to day.
Facial expression photos: As a fun activity afterwards, we took pictures of our facial expressions for different moods. At first, it was hard for her to show anger, although after a few moods, she got into making faces! We could have made faces in the mirror, and she would have enjoyed it just as much.
Big feelings discussions: I always try to take opportunities as they come, so whenever MC is having a moment and stuck in a (negative) feeling, we talk about it. Likewise, if I am not happy, I like to express my feelings in the simplest way possible for her, so she understands.
Bedtime daily wrap up: At the end of the day, I always like to ask MC, “What was the best part of your day?” We are still working on the time parameters of a day, so sometimes she will tell me it was visiting or playing with family or friends that we saw weeks ago…So then I will tell her what my favorite part of the day was…If I ever forget to ask her, she will say to me, “What was the best part of your day, Mommy?” which always makes my heart melt because a. she remembered; and b. this is important to her, too.
I stole this idea from Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture, where they would go around the dinner table and ask what was the best and worst part of your day. Since we spend our days together, we try to sort out the worst parts and talk through them as they come, and then accentuate the positives of the day right before bed.
Pumpkin faces: We have been bouncing back and forth between fall and all about me themed activities. One morning for her breakfast invitation, I cut out simple orange circles and some eyes and a mouth. Before I could even get out of bed, she already had the top off of the glue stick and was making faces. Love!
What’s your favorite book for exploring emotions?