Last week, we explored all the different feelings in our hearts with the story "In My Heart" and this week we'll be tacklin...

'Sometimes I'm Bombaloo' - Read and Rise May 2021


Last week, we explored all the different feelings in our hearts with the story "In My Heart" and this week we'll be tackling the big feelings - you know the ones! Anger, frustration, and sadness are the ones we'll specifically be touching on. These feelings can be difficult for everyone, but especially for children who are just learning to navigate the world, their minds, and hearts. These are the feelings which usually lead to epic meltdowns and tantrums and our kids need our help learning to take care of these big feelings.

One thing I've learned from my children - and myself - is that once that angry or sad energy builds, it can't just go away. The sooner you can get that energy out in an appropriate manner, the sooner the calm can return. My good friend, Brie Verrinder, who is a child, adult, and family counselor, put together this list of coping strategies for kids experiencing big feelings. Teaching children early on to divert their energy toward one of these ideas rather than being hurtful or screaming mean words will help them be able to take control of their feelings on their own when they're older.

Blow bubbles
Snuggle a pet or stuffed animal
Talk to a trusted grownup
Take a water break
Draw a picture
Take a break from what you're doing
Listen to a silly song
Do something kind and helpful
Build with Lego or blocks
Stretch or do yoga poses
Take deep breaths
Remember a funny joke
Ask a family member for a hug
Write about how you're feeling
Go for a walk outside
Play with a fidget toy
Make a gratitude list
Think of a happy memory or peaceful place

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In this story, Katie describes to us how she's usually a happy girl but sometimes she loses her temper and becomes someone else, Bombaloo! Bombaloo is not happy and calm and uses her body to hurt and destroy. It is scary! A time-out in her room plus a lot of love from Mommy help Bombaloo turn back into Katie. 

Activity: Time-outs alone can work to help calm some children, but others may need a little more help from us. So this week I encourage all of you to create a big feelings kit with your children. This article from And Next Comes L is a great place to start compiling ideas for items to put in your kit. And Next Comes L is a resource page for hyperlexia and autism, but oftentimes the resources can be just as useful for children without those diagnoses. I love that the list is separated into categories so you can read through and easily find the items that will most benefit your child. For example, I know when my kids get angry they tend to have physical energy so I made sure to include things that could keep their hands occupied. Here's a look at the big feelings kits I made with Lil C and Squidgy (we made separate ones because we didn't want to risk them both needing to calm big feelings at the same time and fighting over one kit!)

Some books about feelings we can read through plus a Look and Find book.

Bubble wrap and junk mail to pop and rip and occupy those hands that may want to destroy! Some jelly beans and a chew toy for oral motor support.

A notepad with small colored pencils and crayons, a puzzle, fidget toys, and a light up squeezy ball.

Completed kits ready to use!

I hope these tips help you guide your child through their big feelings! Just remember two things. First, when your child is experiencing those big feelings they need help learning to divert that energy into appropriate channels. Second, those big feelings are like a tunnel and the only way out is to make it through to the other side - they can't just stop in the middle! Oh, and feel free to make grown up big feelings kits too! <3

For more books and activities about feelings and mental health, check out: