Help Kids Handle Big Emotions at Home

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Conscious Discipline. All opinions are entirely my own.

I taught in a classroom setting for years, and I know that learning to handle big emotions is integral to a child’s success, socially and academically. But somehow I feel less prepared to teach self-regulation to my own kids at home.

One of my children often shuts down and doesn’t want to discuss her feelings. She experiences a lot of anxiety, and at times she acts out in anger or jealousy. My other daughter becomes overwhelmed by her feelings and then screams or cries, not knowing what to do when she’s overwhelmed by these feelings.

I know there is a learning process, and I know it takes time. However, I’ve felt like I didn’t quite have the resources I needed to tackle these lessons. Modeling wasn’t working. Talking wasn’t enough. I needed more.

When I first heard about the Feeling Buddies for FamiliesTM Toolkit I immediately thought, “This could be it!” The Feeling Buddies for Families Toolkit is a newly released product from Dr. Becky Bailey and Conscious Discipline, a leading provider in social-emotional learning and classroom management resources.

In the classroom using Dr. Bailey’s resources, I had a system. I followed a routine, and I taught the expectations. Kids learned the tools for self-regulation, and we practiced them often. Why did I never think about implementing them at home until now?  Honestly, we used parts of the system, but by using the entire Feeling Buddies for Families Toolkit we’re now using all the pieces, and it’s making a difference…for all of us.

Help Kids Learn to Handle Big Emotions at Home with Feeling Buddies for Families

About the Feeling Buddies for Families Toolkit

The Toolkit is a unique resource created just for families. Its creation was inspired by the classroom version that has consistently brought about transformational results in schools. By implementing the strategies and tools taught in the Toolkit children learn self-regulation skills and cultivate a positive inner voice that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Who Benefits from the Feeling Buddies for Families Toolkit?

  • Kids who struggle with anxiety
  • Kids who wrestle with meltdowns, tears and tantrums
  • Kids who act out in anger
  • Kids who are learning to express their feelings in appropriate ways

Don’t you mean all kids? Yes, exactly!

What’s Included in the Toolkit?

  • Online Video Coaching for Parents-These six sessions were just what I needed to visualize the Toolkit in action. At first I was worried about finding time to watch them, but Dr. Bailey did a great job of making them to the point and full of practical tips to implement quickly. There were so many useful bits of information that I quickly ended up with pages of notes about aha moments and things I wanted to include as we started using our Feeling Buddies.

 

I also let my kids watch some brief segments of the videos as I began to introduce them to the Feeling Buddies. I found this to be particularly helpful for my older daughter who I was worried would be a little skeptical since she’s a “big kid.” She was also more receptive to learning some of the techniques when they were modeled by Dr. Baily and other kids instead of just me.

  • Managing Emotional Mayhem book-This book is FULL of great information about the why, the how, and the what of teaching kids (and adults) to handle big emotions. I wish I had read it when my kids were even younger, and I’m sure I’ll be referring back to it often in the years ahead.
  • Mini Feeling Buddies and Soft Case-These Feeling Buddies are an invaluable tool for implementing the Toolkit. Both of my kids love They provide a hands-on way to implement the self-regulation techniques taught in the Toolkit.
  • Helping My Feeling Buddies picture book-This book is part of the routine kids and adults learn to go through as they complete the Four Bs of Self-Regulation taught in the Toolkit. Both of my kids really like listening to or reading the appropriate section in the book as they enter the safe place and start working through their big emotions.
  • Listen to Your Feelings CD-Music has always been a teaching tool for us, so I was excited to see that there was a CD included in the Toolkit. There are great songs to help kids learn to label feelings, begin to use the emotional vocabulary and phrases used in the Toolkit, and develop that positive self-talk we’re aiming for.
  • Quick Start Guide-It’s important to have an implementation plan in place, so that we get the most benefit from the Toolkit. It doesn’t do any good if we don’t use it. I found the Quick Start Guide great for helping me break down the learning that I had to do, develop a timeline, and then implement our system at home.

Help Kids Learn to Handle Big Emotions at Home with Feeling Buddies for Families

Our Experience with the Feeling Buddies for Families Toolkit

I chose to introduce the Toolkit slowly over a week or so. First the girls saw me reading the Managing Emotional Mayhem book. Later I started setting up our Safe Place. Then I asked them what things in our home made them feel better when they are upset. Together we looked for items we had that would be great additions to our Safe Place. The next day we worked to set up a cozy Safe Place together. This piqued their interest, and we had a talk about what the Safe Place is and how we would be using it in the future. At this point I also introduced the Mini Feeling Buddies.

Our days are full of big emotions so we had chances to practice right away. In the beginning I did most of the guiding and modeling as the kids learned the breathing techniques and we worked on the Four Bs of Self-Regulation, but it didn’t take long for this routine to become a habit for the girls.

Not only were they recognizing when they needed to visit the Safe Place. They were recognizing when others might benefit from it too. One day I was particularly sad, and my youngest gently took my hand and said, “I’ll go to the Safe Place with you if you want, mommy.” Even through my own sadness I found incredible hope in this small act. She’s learning!

Although my kids are different ages and they struggle with different big emotions, I’ve found the Toolkit has prepared me to help both of them in the ways they need most. In addition to the strategies taught and using the Safe Place often, we have made the Listen to Your Feelings CD part of our daily routine by listening to it while we get ready in the morning and again as we ease into our bedtime routine. This has been so helpful as a teaching tool, and as a discussion starter at a time when kids are calm and not in the midst of overcoming big emotions. We also love the I Love You Rituals, and are incorporating more of those into our days.

It’s only been about two months since we’ve implemented the Toolkit, but I’m already seeing big changes in both my own ability to help the girls tackle big feelings and in their own ability to handle challenging situations. My goal now is to continue to be consistent with using the Toolkit so that these behaviors and positive self-talk become natural and routine for the girls as they approach the adolescent years where we’ll face a whole new set of triggers for big emotions.

Adults and kids both need a safe place, self-regulation skills and a positive inner voice to process big emotions. With the Feeling Buddies for Families Toolkit, families now have all the tools they need to help kids learn to handle big emotions at home.

Learn more at FeelingBuddies.com

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