Young children sometimes have trouble dealing with feelings. For children who are particularly sensitive, including some children with AD/HD and executive functioning challenges, emotional reactions can be particularly strong and making good choices about how to respond can be particularly challenging. Parents have the opportunity to teach children self-regulation and good problem solving from the early years. Fortunately, some good resources are available to help!
One of my top picks is a wonderful series of simply illustrated books from Parenting Press. The series of six books is designed for parents to read with their children to help explore strong feelings as well as varied options for dealing with them. The “Dealing with Feelings Series,” authored by Elizabeth Crary, and illustrated by Jeanne Whitney, is described in detail below.
(Note: Description reprinted with permission from http://www.parentingpress.com/b_dwf.html where ordering information can also be found.)
Children are entitled to their feelings even when their behavior
needs to be corrected. This series acknowledges specific feelings
and offers children several ways to deal with them. Each book
features a choose-your-own-adventure format, and shows what
different outcomes of choices might be—allowing the children to
back up and try another solution if they don’t like the outcome,
or to try a variety of choices to see how each might turn out.
When Matt’s little brother ruins his best baseball card, Matt
wants to “knock him flat.” Readers will identify with Matt’s
feelings, and can help him choose a better way to handle his
Tracy is terrified of the new neighbor’s dog, and needs help
deciding what to do about her feelings. Children learn several
strategies for coping with fear in positive ways.
Annie and Jesse are super excited because it’s their
birthday. Young children will love helping the twins find
activities to release their high energy on this special day.
When rain cancels a long-awaited picnic, Katie decides to
be mad all day. Readers help her find other ways to express
herself, as she moves on to fill the afternoon with fun and
Alex just can’t seem to skate as well as his older brother
and sister can, and he thinks about smashing his skates.
Readers help Alex find better ways to express his frus-
tration and find other fun things to do.
Mandy learns to tie her shoes, but no one seems very ex-
cited. Children learn to deal with put-downs by choosing
from a multitude of options to help Mandy value her own
How do you help your children manage and respond to strong feelings? What resources have you found useful?