emotional literacy: 3 Articles

Helping Your Young Child Feel and Understand Their Feelings

We all know that emotions like love and gratitude are fun and beneficial, but what about emotions like fear, worry or jealousy? Believe it or not, all our feelings serve a purpose. I say “believe it or not” because maybe, like me, you may have grown up believing that being scared is a bad thing and something to be avoided. Fear certainly does feel uncomfortable, doesn’t it? But what if I told you that you could make friends with fear?  The following is an excerpt from the Reader’s Note in our new book Feel Your Feelings. It explains the basic concept of the book and why scary emotions are our friends. Why being scared (or afraid) is a good thing Feel Your Feelings introduces children to basic emotions with fun poems that they can act out from head to toe. They will learn that emotions are our friends. Some emotions show us what we love, others protect us from harm, and all of them put together, like colors on an artist’s palette, paint a beautiful picture of life. This simple book about learning how to identify and accept the emotions you have creates a safe place for children to act out a variety of feelings. Having feelings is part of being a human being, but learning how to feel your feelings is part of being a healthy and wise human being. Teaching children to recognize and appreciate all their feelings is a wonderful gift a parent, teacher, or caregiver can give. The basic concept of feeling your feelings There is no such thing as a good or bad feeling. An emotion may feel bad — or as we like to say, “uncomfortable” — but that doesn’t mean it is a bad emotion to have or that we should try to avoid having uncomfortable feelings. Every feeling has a purpose! Every feeling is your friend. Some emotions teach us what we are passionate about, and some emotions teach us which dangers to avoid. Emotions are the spice of life. They are what motivate us and help form our moral compass. Why we label emotions as bad One reason we label emotions as bad is that they can lead to emotional outbursts. It’s as if you have a friend called “Scared” knocking on the door trying to warn you there is a fire outside, but you’re too scared to open the door. So, the knocking gets louder and more frantic until Scared bursts into the room and, suddenly, everyone is panicking because the room is on fire. But what if we could open the door a lot sooner and ask Scared, “What’s the problem?” Scared might say, “I’m here to help. Please don’t panic. There is fire, and we need to calmly exit the building and call for help.” If we never open the door to our emotions, it can lead to stress, anxiety, and even physical illness. When children understand how they are feeling and feel safe expressing themselves, it

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Helping Your Young Child Feel and Understand Their Feelings 2022-05-03T19:06:48-04:00

Creating The Find Out Files My Sibling: Interview with the Author

In the last of four interviews Isabelle Filliozat, French parenting expert, talks about her book, My Sibling.  My Sibling is part of The Find Out Files, a series of activity books that explores feelings and relationships. You can also read her interviews about My Emotions, My Anger, and My Fears. Here's what Ms. Filliozat has to say about creating My Siblings: Magination Press: Why did you decide to include a book about siblings in The Find Out Files? Isabelle Filliozat: Do you really have to ask the question? Isn’t it the most difficult topic the parents face? It was the most complicated issue for me with my children. So hard! We hate to see our children fight, but behind those fights are emotions. If we parents learn to hear these emotions, fights lessen. Small fights are natural between siblings, but children need tools to help them deal with conflict so that they don’t harm themselves physically or emotionally.  MP: Why did you choose a cat as the animal guide for My Sibling? IF: Cats are very cute and friendly. They come to be petted, but they have their independence. And as with your siblings, you never know if he wants to cuddle or fight. While kittens fight a lot with each other, they never harm themselves, but they practice fighting with one another so that they will be strong with strangers. Kittens cuddle a lot. They go underneath one another, on top, any position…I love the game “kitten basket” where all the family piles on each other, pretending to be kittens in a basket. There’s so much contact. You end up laughing and charged with oxytocin! MP: In My Sibling, you explain how birth order affects how families interact. You explore what it feels like to be a first child or a younger child. What kinds of unique experiences do middle and youngest children have? IF: I didn't have room to explore all positions in detail, but the idea is to think about the impact of the environment on development of temperament. When you are in the middle…well, you are in the middle…so you neither get the advantages of the eldest, nor of the youngest. And also you are older than one, and younger than another. So it’s a mix of the positions. It’s of course different when you are in the middle of three kids or in the middle of five, and when the gap between each is one or six years. So many situations and recompositions nowadays add complexity. The idea of the book is not to trap a child in a definition, but to help him think about the experience one is living. MP: What about twins or multiples? They have to share their parents from the beginning, and people frequently compare them. What kind of experiences do they have as siblings? IF: Yes, every situation is particular. That is what we have to realize. A baby doesn’t grow alone in a desert, he builds himself

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Creating The Find Out Files My Sibling: Interview with the Author 2020-09-29T15:39:42-04:00

Making The Find Out Files My Anger: Interview With the Authors

Magination Press’s new series of activity books, The Find Out Files, help kids explore emotions and relationships. Magination Press interviewed authors, Isabelle Filliozat and Virginie Limousin, about creating My Anger, one of the books in The Find Out Files. Magination Press: In another Find Out Files book, My Emotions, you identified seven different emotions to explore. Why did you decide to write a whole book about anger? Isabelle Filliozat: We wanted one on each and every emotion. Anger was the first, because it’s the first thing parents are concerned about and we wanted to arm parents with empathy rather than unhelpful responses when their child gets angry or has a tantrum. People tend to have a moral judgement about anger, because many confuse it with violence or a power play.  Virginie Limousin:  Children are immature and often respond with tantrums that are often misinterpreted by adults, who may respond clumsily. Parents may find themselves overwhelmed by their own emotional reactions. So this book provides parents with an understanding of anger (provides a certain emotional literacy to anger). The idea of the activity book is both simple explanations of anger—this natural physiological reaction of our body—and easy techniques for children to tame this emotion while allowing them to express it because it is very useful in our lives. MP: Why did you choose Parrot to be the animal guide for My Anger? VL & IF: There is the parrot and the professor Angrius to give information. The parrot is coming from the air, he is non judgemental. Professor Angrius (Colérius) is the main guide throughout the find out file. He is small and has hair like Einstein’s and wears large glasses to suggest he has read books and knows a lot. The parrot is one of his collaborators.  The parrot has worked with him for so long that he can repeat everything the Professor has discovered during his research ;-) MP: Tell us about the oxygen cloud elevator tool. What inspired it?  VL: Anger is an emotion that can be difficult to regulate. Sometimes it makes us want to hit, throw, or scream. Focusing a few moments on our breathing allows us to oxygenate our brain and not react impulsively. An emotion is like a cloud passing in the sky, it is temporary. And just as we contemplate the clouds, we need to be able to observe our emotion to understand what they are telling us.  MP: You include lots of activities in the book: crafts, quizzes, drawing opportunities. Why did you incorporate stickers in all The Find Out Files books? IF: We wanted to get children as active as possible and offer them fun tools. Children learn when they are enthusiastic and feel in control of their learning. Most children love stickers. And those are colorful and fun. We wanted children to be able to associate anger with love, colors, and fun, so that they stop thinking it is a bad emotion and can make friends with it. What

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Making The Find Out Files My Anger: Interview With the Authors 2020-09-22T17:32:54-04:00