Fun Activity for Sizing Up Problems and Feelings

Learning to be aware of our emotional responses to challenges and problems in life is one of the most important skills we can teach ourselves and our children. I have read My Book Full of Feelings (below) with children for years and often do related activities on the dry erase board. I recently made it into a felt board activity, which I share with you below.

The Concept: If we can be aware of our emotions, and the intensity of those emotions, towards a certain event, then we will learn to respond appropriately.

Example: A child decides to buy his lunch at school one day because they are serving his favorite meal. When he gets to lunch, he learns that the meal for the day has been changed. The child becomes enraged and claims he feels like he wants to physically harm the lunch and school staff for doing this to him. He spends most of his afternoon in the principal’s office and his parents are contacted regarding the incident. Appropriate response to the situation?

Steps to Process and Complete this Activity:

1. I have the children (an even teens and adults) determine appropriate responses and feelings for scenarios in each category (small, medium, or big deal).

2. I then present various scenarios and have them place it into one of the categories. I use made-up scenarios, as well as scenarios that have actually happened in this person’s life.

3. We review and discuss where the scenarios were placed in the triangle. Often, I find that clients with anger or anxiety problems will have “forgetting their lunch” and “pet dies” in the same category. This is often enlightening for them to see their “automatic” placement of the scenario.

4. We discuss and review any scenarios that really happened to them, and whether their response was appropriate at the time.




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