In My Heart: A Story of Children´s Emotions
“In my heart” is a book by Jo Witek, which gives voice to our children’s emotions and feelings. Its beautiful illustrations and the simplicity of its words make it a wonderful tool for children to recognize their feelings in many ways and with many colors.
The joy, the sadness, the calm, the anger, the fear. All the emotions that children of 3 years and older already recognize and can express are contemplated in this beautiful story.
In the video we can hear phrases like “My heart is like a house. So many things happen inside … and they are all mixed up! There are rainy days and noisy laughter, big angry people and fun and games. Today I’m going to open the door of my heart and invite you to come inside”.
As you’ll see, this is a great tool to teach our children how to communicate their emotions and feelings. Here is the story in video form for you to enjoy…and your children too of course!
Children’s emotions must be expressed
For children to be able to play and express and verbalize their emotions at the same time the first and most essential task is for them to build their interpersonal skills. We may think this is too difficult a task due to us not being skilled at managing our own emotions. The truth, however, is that by working with children we have the opportunity to improve our own emotion management too.
The first step is to become aware of our children´s emotions. To do this we can take drawings which have several children in them. We then need to ask the children how they think the children in the drawings are feeling. We can also ask them to draw faces that represent a person who is experiencing a certain emotion. Telling stories related to these different emotions is also beneficial.
Once the children become aware of how and when they and other people are expressing emotions, we can help them discern different ways of expressing their emotions correctly. We can also teach them how to avoid additional negative emotions beyond those that already exist. We can help the children by showing them how to keep a diary of their emotions, to identify with a balloon when they get angry, to relax through breathing, to think positively, and to stop their negative thoughts.
Other indispensable skills linked to children’s emotions are those that allow children to relate to other people and strengthen their self-esteem. Children must know that they have the right to say no when they don’t like something, that it is not good to spread rumors, and that they must always try to put themselves in the other person’s shoes.
When thinking about children´s emotions we mustn’t forget personal autonomy skills. These are what will allow children to manage their lives for themselves. A child has to know how to highlight their good points and identify those they need to improve. In addition, they have to know how to pamper, love and take care of themselves.
That is why diaries, memory boxes, and praise games are so useful, and many would say vital. These help children learn to respect themselves and understand why friendship is like a flower that should be taken care of by both parties.
This will allow our children to grow up full of self-understanding, and with a proactive attitude towards the tasks they have to do. They should live with their minds full of pleasant memories and their lives full of wonderful people. In this way they can’t fail to enjoy life. And all this starts with understanding what exactly is “In their Heart”.