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Strength skills

A note to parents
1. Recognizing emotional arousal
You are at Strength lesson 1go to Strength lesson 2Go to Strength lesson 3

Key ideas
1. Our bodies react when we have strong feelings.
2. We can understand what we are thinking by how we are feeling.
3. Having an emotion is not the same thing as taking an action.

In this lesson, our focus is on inviting children to consider how their bodies and mind work together to generate emotional experiences. Ask children at first to describe how their bodies feel when they are angry, when they are sad, and when they are scared. Write their comments on the board. Children could describe a specific physical sensation ("When I'm sad, my heart feels wiggly.") or, like my son did as a preschooler, use a metaphor ("When I'm sad my heart feels like peanut butter."). They could also describe the action the emotion seems to be pushing them to do ("When I'm sad, I feel like crying."). Some of the comments will involve the skeletal-muscular system (making a fist with one's hand), gastrointestinal (getting an upset stomach), or cardiovascular (heart beats fast).

Emphasize in your discussion that all emotions are important and can be helpful. Fear can warn us of danger and give us energy to protect ourselves. Also, we do not have to act on the impulse the feeling suggests. We can feel afraid, for example, and feel like running away. This does not mean that we have to run away.

These ideas should be reinforced often in the daily life of a child, not just in the presentation of a "lesson."

Do you have a question, comment, or suggestion for this lesson? Go to the author contact page.


maphttp://www.ksu.edu/wwparent/programs/hero/hero-strength-1.htm--Revised June 15, 2005
Copyright © 1996-2005 Charles A. Smith. All rights reserved.