What can you do with a negative emotion?
Everybody has big feelings! The Pups from the PAW Patrol sometimes feel frustrated when they face a challenge, Peppa feels sad when she loses her favorite toy, and the Bubble Guppies feel nervous on the first day of school.
Despite the fact that ALL of us experience a range of feelings, adults tend to focus on the ones perceived as more positive — like happiness, excitement, love, silliness — when they discuss feelings with children.
Don’t forget: ALL feelings are part of the human experience!
So, what can a child do with a big feeling? Punching a pillow is one strategy grown-ups and children can try.
Tip for Parents/Caregivers: Everyone, including children, experiences feelings of aggression, anger, jealousy, grief, frustration, disappointment, and sadness. These feelings are harder to express in socially acceptable ways, and children need practice to recognize, manage, and safely express them. YOU can help your children understand and express a range of feelings.
- Everyone gets angry and frustrated sometimes! When I’m angry, sometimes I want to scream, stomp my feet, or run really fast. What about you?
- It’s never okay to hurt yourself or anybody else — even if you’re angry. But you can’t hurt a pillow! Let’s make a punching pillow that you can kick, hit, or punch if you feel like getting your anger out.
- Let’s fill a pillowcase with old clothes, blankets or towels and tie a knot on the end to close it. Now you have a punching pillow!
- Let’s try it out: give it a good, strong punch. How does that feel?
- Let’s practice and then try punching it the next time we’re feeling angry.
- Punch: to hit with the fist
- Angry: mad
- Frustrated: anger or annoyance at not being able to do something