Saturday, December 16, 2006

Game to Develop Emotional Intelligence.

In a Mime of Early Warning Information, I looked at developing emotional language and intelligence to help children uncover their feelings. I provided two game activities to use to get kids playing and talking about their early warning signs. Here’s another two ideas.

Scary stories or movies: Scary stories are a great way to introduce physical early warning signs. When reading a story together you can ask your child how their body is feeling. If they respond that they don’t know, reflect to them what their body is doing: curled up in a ball, fists clenched, sweating, chewing fingernails, etc.

Common physical descriptions from children: In my work with children I have heard many early warning signs. These include:

A pack of wolves in my tummy.
A ball of string with lots of knots in it.
Fire or skull and crossbones in my stomach.
A question sign/bell in my head.
Beautiful smelling flowers in my heart.
Ants biting me all over.
Legs like Mummy’s tummy, all wobbly.
An echidna in my chest.

Use some of these or invent your own when you discuss feelings with your child. By modeling a verbal description of how your body is feeling linked to the emotional word you would use, you are assisting your child to gain a greater feeling vocabulary. Use a variety of physical descriptions to match a whole range of emotions, not just scared or angry feelings. Remember the good feelings too. How would you describe the body feelings for happiness, relief and excitement? Describing feelings is not just about the painful feelings. All feelings are natural and are there to tell us something.

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