These last few months have brought on daily changes to our “normal” everyday lives, with it comes a lot of feelings that can be hard to identify for adults let alone kids. Kids and families have missed out on the graduations, whether it is Pre-K or high school, not to mention all the fun activities that come with the end of the school year. Change is hard and no one had time to plan, kids/parents didn’t know that when they left school it would be their last day this year. It isn’t always easy to cope and communicate during high stress times, however it is important to address these feelings and grieve the things that we are all missing. Often in social work I have used board games to get kids and families talking, it can make sharing a little easier than just sitting across from each other.
When you get a SORRY card before you can use it on another player identify something they are sorry for, something they miss, and something that upset them. Don’t focus too much on what is said (no consequences), praise them for sharing accept the apology, recognize why they are sorry, empathize with them on what they miss, understand why something may have upset them and move to the next player.
Assign feelings to colors
Red-something that made you feel upset
Blue- Something that made you feel sad
Green- Something that made you feel Jealous
Yellow- Something that makes you happy or you look forward to doing again
You can leave some colors as free
It is important that everyone playing participates. This model’s the importance of sharing feelings and that it is okay to have feelings.
Make sure kids understand that feelings no matter how big or small are okay, Feeling ANGRY is okay. Make sure you separate the FEELING from the BEHAVIOR.
EX: John is feeling angry because he cannot have the play date with his friend Sam, he is so angry that he hits his brother because he does not want to play with him, he wants to see his friend.
Parent response: it’s okay that you were angry, sometimes I feel angry that I cannot go see my friends, screaming and hitting your sibling is not an okay way to get your feelings out. (assigning a consequence such as a timeout is okay, just ensure that they know it is because of the behavior NOT the FEELING)