In Amy’s story, we learn she is a spirited and gregarious little one who loves Taco Tuesdays - and we don't blame her! However, her excitement can sometimes be too overwhelming for those around her.
In this blog post, we examine the social and emotional concept of Self-Management. We provide parents with a “mini-lesson” along with a tangible “how-to” guide for using our Moodie Amy to teach little ones how to manage one’s emotions. As a note, this lesson is not geared at suppressing feelings but rather giving children a way to process them.
A Framework for Social and Emotional Learning
At Owl & Oak, the heartbeat of our work centers around social and emotional learning. We use the Moodies along with the CASEL Wheel framework (displayed below) to teach children and parents how to foster knowledge, skills, and attitudes across five focus areas of social and emotional competence including Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Responsible Decision-Making, Relationship Skills and Social Awareness.
The CASEL framework defines Self-Management as, “The abilities to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations.”
The category of Self-Management is further divided into seven main capacities (displayed above).
While we’d love to unpack all seven facets of the Self-Management category, we know as parents you have things (like, a lot of things) to do. For brevity’s sake, we’re focusing this mini lesson on teaching little ones how to manage one’s emotions.
Three Step Process for Managing Emotions
- Identify Emotions
- This might sound like: “What does anger feel like?” or “How do I know when other people are angry?”
- Understand Emotional Triggers
- This might sound like: “What happened right before you felt anxious?” or “How did your body feel (headache, stomach ache, nervous, sweaty palms, heart racing)?”
- Respond when Overwhelmed by Emotions
- This might look like creating a “calm-down jar” to offer your little one options for processing their feelings.
The “Calm-Down Jar” for Responding to Big Feelings
Creating a “calm-down jar” gives you and your little one a tangible resource to use when your child feels overwhelmed by their emotions. Bonus - creating a “calm-down jar” is fairly simple and only requires a few supplies!
Learning to Manage One’s Emotions with The Moodies
We love using our Moodie Amy to help teach little ones how to manage one’s emotions. As you know, Amy is a spirited little octopus that is often overcome with emotion. While we love her zest for life (and especially for tacos), she sometimes needs help processing her very big feelings.
Amy and The “Calm Down Jar”:
- Keep the “calm down jar” handy when reading Amy’s story.
- Throughout the story, allow your little one to select prompts from the jar.
- Role-play how Amy might use the emotional management strategies to process her excitement.
Amy is just one of our five Moodies, each one designed to help your little one learn more about their very big emotions. The Moodies encourage open discussion between children and their families to build a bond of communication, teach empathy and emphasize that all feelings deserve a space to be shared.
Each Moodie comes with a backpack so your child knows that their feelings are welcome wherever they go, and they'll always have a friend for support when they need a cuddle. Visit owlandoak.co to “Meet the Moodies”.
Source: casel.org + raising-independent-kids.com