Showing concerns for other’s feelings

When and how to show concerns for others’ feelings

Once the child has identified that a child needs help, showing concern teaches how to approach this child and show concern for his/her feelings.

Your brother didn’t get a good grade on the math test and he looks upset

Look at your brother’s facial expressions, voice tone and body langue. Then decide whether to do something about it. If the person is sad, try to comfort them, you can talk to them, for example; ‘are you feeling ok’ , ‘i’m sorry you didn’t get a good grade’, ‘hope you feel better soon’.

Understanding social cues

Observing and monitoring interactions with others

Observing others to determine how they are feelings is the first step before deciding what to do with this observation (such as showing concerns for others). It teaches how to get information from facial expression, body movement and voice to infer about someone’s emotional state.

Your little sister is rolling around on the floor giggling

To identify feelings and emotions pay attention to the person’s facial expression; look at the person’s eyes, mouth and eyebrows to determine how they are feeling (smiling when happy etc). Body language can also help you determine how someone is feeling (arms crossed when angry etc). Lastly you can listen to the person, their voice tone will also give you clues.


Developing strategies to regulate emotions and using them (e.g. “take 3 deep breaths”)

Self control can be synonym of emotion regulation and is associated with positive well-being and reducing in externalising behaviour at home and at school. A child has to learn how to regulate his/her emotions in order to better interact with people. For instance, a child has to learn that it is ok to be angry but that it is not ok to hit people. Before being able to regulate emotions, a child has to be able to identify emotions.

You are struggling to finish a puzzle

Pause and take a moment to cool off. Try taking 5 deep breaths, for each breath count slowly to 10. Relax your body muscles. You could distract yourself by doing something else then returning to the puzzle later. Also sharing your frustration with a friend can also help.

Dealing with anxiety

Identifying anxiety, finding startegies and taking actions to decrease anxiety

High level of anxiety can be really damaging to a child’s health and mental well-being so it is good to keep anxiety at a low level. Low to moderate levels of anxiety have actually been linked to higher academic, social and sport performance.

You are attending a new school and are anxious about not knowing anyone there and meeting new teachers and classmates.

Look at your body language and see how you feel, then decide what would make you feel better (e.g. take a few deep breaths, talk to someone about it, relax your muscles by squeezing and releasing parts of).

Dealing with being left out

Identifying why and whether you are being left out and what to do when it happens

First, the child has to think about why she/he feels left out and whether this is accurate or not. Then, the child should think about what action he/she can do to join the group and what to do if the group says that they don’t want to play with him/her.

Your friends tell you that there isn’t enough room for you to help with the puzzle.

Identity how you feel, then look at how to deal with the rejection. Possibly take deep breath, or walk away. Take things into perspective and find something else to do. It’s ok to feel rejected, it happens.

Dealing with boredom

Identifying boredom and learning how to entertain yourself

“Feeling bored is a common experience for most school-age children and can be attributed to many factors. For example, children may verbalise that they are feeling bored when they feel lonely, discouraged, confused, overwhelmed, or ambivalent about an activity or disappointed by the outcome of play activities.”

The toys you used to play with arn’t fun anymore.

Decide how you feel then look at other possible activities, perhaps make a completely new way of playing with your toys. Look at the situation from different perspectives.

Dealing with rejection

Identifying why and whether you are being rejected and what to do when it happens

This skill can teach a specific emotion regulation strategy that arises in the specific context of being rejected. It can happen when a child wants to play with someone, asks if he/she can join the play and the other child says no. The skill can teach the child to think about what to do such as walking away or doing something fun instead and do it.

You ask your sister if she wants to with you, but she says that she doesn’t have time today.

It’s ok to feel rejected, think about what happened and how you feel. You could tell someone about it and try putting your feelings into words. It’s important to not blame yourself, sometimes these things happen. Maybe make plans so it doesn’t happen again, then move on and take things into perspective.

Dealing with stress

Identifying stress, finding startegies and taking actions to decrease stress

Dealing with stress is an advanced skill that teaches children how to identify stress, finding strategies to feel less stressed and take actions towards it. Techniques such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and physical exercise are ways children can manage stress.

Your have a math test tomorrow and you are stressed about how you are going to do.

Take a few deep breaths to relax. You could also express your feelings by telling your mum or dad how you feel. You could also act on those feelings and decide to revise a little more before going to bed for peace of mind.

Dealing with your angry feelings

Identifying angry feelings, finding how and when to express or regulate anger

Dealing with angry feelings is once again a more specific skill within the skill that teaches how to regulate emotions. It teaches children how to identify anger, finding strategies to let go the anger and take actions towards it. Such strategy can be to do the turtle: hold legs firmly against chest, take three slow, deep breaths and slowly release legs from chest.

You are really mad at a friend for breaking your toy.

You need to find the right way to deal with this situation. You could tell your friend using a nice voice that you are not happy because he broke your toy. If the emotion is two intense, it can be hard to use nice talk so a solution could be to go away for a bit, take a few deep breaths before deciding what to do about it.

Expressing feeling and emotions

When, how and with whom to express feelings

This skill happens after a child has identified his/her feelings and emotions and is about deciding whether he/she would like to share this emotion with someone else and can be part of the emotion regulation process.

A classmate called you a name you didn’t like.

Wait and think about how you feel, how is your body reacting? (‘My legs feel heavy, my heart is racing etc’). Respond with how you feel about the other person, its ok to feel angry or sad. Its ok to be angry but do not hit the other person.