Children are full of feelings. One moment they are bouncing off the walls with excitement and joy while the next they struggle with reigning in big strong feelings of frustration. Teaching them to not only recognize what they are feeling, but also to express them in appropriate ways is a big job for parents.
For the very first post in the 31 Days of Storybook Learning series, I want to share a book that is a favorite of mine that helps children grapple with one very strong emotion–worry. Jonathan James and the What If Monster by Michelle Nelson-Schmidt is a tale about a little boy who has allowed the “What ifs” to invade his thoughts and make him worried about taking chances, trying new things, and stepping outside of his comfort zone.
Finally, Jonathan decides to let the Whatif Monster know that even though he may have doubts, he also thinks that he should have a more positive outlook on things. Instead of “What if I fail?,” he says that he should think, “What if I don’t?”
It’s a simple message, but a powerful one that all children should be taught! Don’t let fear and anxiety rule over you. Trying new things helps you grow as a person and helps you meet new friends, learn new things, and expand your horizons!
My children love this book and we even have a plush Whatif monster that they take turns sleeping with at night.
To go along with this book, I thought I’d take some time to explore feelings with my four year old daughter. I created this fun fifteen page printable pack that includes coloring pages, handwriting practice, flashcards, and even a journal for young children to use to explore different emotions. These feelings printables will allow you to teach your child some basic emotions while helping them to discuss what they all mean and how to handle the ones that get a little overwhelming.
How do you teach your children about their feelings?
For more tips and inspiration, check out the other participants: