Then gently move on. No need to attempt to change their emotions, those will change naturally. What’s important is that they, and their feelings, are accepted in the class. THAT’S a big deal and a lesson they will remember for a lifetime!
You can keep it light and relaxed. Here is one simple approach you can use. Feel free to use your own words:
- Thank you for sharing how you are feeling. I can see that you are feeling sad.
- Many of us feel sad at one time or another. And it’s okay to share what we are feeling.
Young children may be experiencing many emotions in the classroom. For some it may the first time they are being asked to express and manage their feelings in a group. They are learning to handle their feelings so it is important to be accepting, supportive and patient. Studies have shown that a simple acknowledgement such as; “I understand” or even “mmm…” without saying too much can soothe an upset young child. Adults often make the mistake to talk to the child too much. Of course, a warm lap or a friend to sit with always helps too.
First, remember that the point of the activities are to learn to identify what we are feeling and share that appropriately, within a healthy, safe classroom environment. The point is not to change everyone’s mood. Building a “healthy” classroom community starts with sharing. The skill of identifying feelings and thinking about them, (Drawing, finding words to describe them), as an important phase of child development.
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