Emotions

At Hope 4 Hurting Kids, one of our principle missions is to help young people understand, cope with and overcome the difficult emotions that they face. Whether it is dealing with family problems, parental divorce, bullying or a multitude of other issues young people face today, dealing with the underlying emotions is a vital first step in moving from hurt to hope and healing. To that end we have developed a comprehensive emotions management plan we call Jump In! Stand Strong! Rise Up! Many of the articles and resources listed on this page represent ideas on how to help kids understand (Jump In!), cope with (Stand Strong!) and overcome (Rise Up!) difficult emotions. We have also included information and resources related to grief on this page. While we realize that grief is way more than emotions, difficult emotions are a significant part of grief. If you would like to limit your search to one area, please click on one of the options below.

Why Do We Lose Control of Our Emotions
Why Do We Lose Control of Our Emotions?
Answering the Question "Why Do We Lose Control of Our Emotions" is a key first step in helping kids understand their emotions. This is the focus of the first step of Hope 4 Hurting Kids' Jump In! Stand Strong! Rise Up! Method (A Comprehensive Plan for Dealing With Emotions). This video from Kids Want to Know is a great explanation for kids and adults of how emotions get out of control and how our brain reacts when they do. The video's YouTube page explains more: Simple, easy-to-understand whiteboard animation to help early Elementary-aged children gain an understanding of the way their ...
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Fear and the Brain
Fear and the Brain in Children of Divorce
The Brain’s Reaction to Fear We know from the brain research and from studying the experts on brain-based learning that fear strikes at the heart of learning. When a child is fearful or feels unsafe the learning brain begins to power down so to speak. Learning becomes more difficult if not impossible. Have you ever had something scare the daylights out of you? What were you feeling at the time? Most of us probably don’t think about what we were feeling when that car zipped through the stop light in front of us and we had to slam on our ...
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150 emotion words
150 Emotion Words – A New Emotional Literacy Guide for Parents (Sign Up)
We are excited to announce that at Hope 4 Hurting Kids we are hard at work on a new resource, and we are excited today to give you a sneak peek. Tentatively named "150 Emotion Words Every Child Should Know - By Age," we hope to have this resource completed and ready for you by Spring or early Summary of 2018. Step 2 of the Jump In! portion of our Comprehensive Emotional Management System here at Hope 4 Hurting Kids, is "Say It!" Say It! is all about helping kids to develop a robust emotional vocabulary, and we set out ...
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Am I The Only One
H4HK FAQs: Am I The Only One Going Through This?
Divorce is hard, and as a child divorce you may wonder if anyone else understands what you are going through.  Well, the answer is yes…and….no! Unfortunately, lots of kids each year experience the divorce of their parents.  In fact, since 1972 roughly one million kids per year, or more, have seen their parents divorce (sometimes more than once).  Forty percent of children under the age of 18 do not live with their married biological (or adoptive) mom and dad (that’s 2 out of every five people under the age of 18). So, the answer to the question, “Am I the ...
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Emotions of Christmas
Emotions of Christmas in Children of Divorce
Thanksgiving is now a memory and Christmas looms before us. For some kids Christmas is an exciting time of the year. For many kids Christmas may mean staying up late, no school, visits with relatives, presents and candy. As people who work with kids, we want them to find the true meaning of Christmas. The emotions of Christmas in a child of divorce may be very different than what you are used to. Most of you will go overboard trying to relay the story of the baby Jesus and his humble birth with special lessons and activities. There will be ...
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Super Simple Feelings Management Technique Activity Cards
Super Simple Feelings Management Technique Activity Cards
These Super Simple Feelings Management Technique Activity Cards are based on Hope 4 Hurting Kids' Super Simple Feelings Management Technique to help with emotional understanding and regulation. They are designed to be used with a variety of emotions listings of games (see a partial list above) to help young people master the five skills involved in the  Super Simple Feelings Management Technique: See It! Say It! Feel It! Mimic It! Talk About It! There are nine cards for each of the five components that will help young people to better recognize, understand and talk about their emotions. The pdf file also includes a ...
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Emotion Mix Up Game
The Emotion Mix Up Game
The Emotion Mix Up Game is a fun way to really get kids and young people thinking about emotion by having them imagine what it would look like to have a less obvious emotion in reaction to a particular circumstance. Although it is similar to the Feelings Ball Toss game, it adds a fun twist that will get kids thinking about their emotions and the scenarios that cause them. Here's What You Need: Last week we looked at the Feelings Ball Toss / Emotions Sorting activity. You'll use the colored bowls and the balls from that game. You will use a set of the Scenario ...
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Emotional Monster
Emotional Monster: I Am An Emotional Monster by Lisa Rusczyk (An H4HK Review)
About the Book Emotional Monster is fun little book for introducing the youngest of kids to the idea of emotions. It also introduces the concept of breathing as a means for dealing with growing emotions. Who Is This Book For? This book is aimed primarily at toddler and pre-school aged children. It is bright and colorful and meant to be read to children. Our Synopsis of the Book The description included in the book reads: Every child can become emotional at times! They'll have monsterous fun learning about different emotions, from happy to sad to angry to more. That exactly ...
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Feelings Ball Toss
Feelings Ball Toss / Emotions Sorting
Feelings Ball Toss is a fun activity to play with kids to help them understand different emotions. The great part about the game is that it can be played a number of different ways. Here's How To Set It Up Get a series of bowls or tubs. We used the different colored bowls shown about that we got at Dollar Tree for a buck a piece. Label each bowl with a different emotions. You can write the emotion or draw a picture using marker, but we opted to print various emojis and tape them inside the bowls. Get some sort ...
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Burying the Box
Burying the Box
Not all coping mechanisms are positive. Today I’d like to discuss a negative coping mechanism often used by kids in dealing with negative emotions. What is Burying the Box? Children and adults often use a wide range of coping mechanisms to deal with difficult situations. One such coping mechanisms that kids often employ is known as “Burying the Box” of feelings. Burying the Box is all about disguising the impacts of difficult emotions by putting on a “happy face” and an air of confidence to the outside world. Just because someone has a smile on their face and seems to ...
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Emotion Color Swatches
Emotion Color Swatches
Emotion Color Swatches are a cheap and easy way to teach kids different words for emotions and different degrees of emotions. Here's how to make them: Go to your local hardware store or pain store and get a variety of paint samples that show three or four different intensities of a color on one sheet (we used samples that showed four colors). On each sample, write words that represent varying degrees of emotions going from least intense (lightest color) to most intense (darkest color). You can make up your own groupings or use the ones we've developed which are shown ...
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Elephant Party Breather
Elephant Party Breather
The Elephant Noise Maker is a fun and useful tool for teaching kids deep breathing techniques. Deep breathing is a key coping skill and one of the Soothing Coping Skills covered in Please Don't Sweat The Small Stuff. In the past we have drawn a picture of an elephant on a piece of heavy paper or cardboard to create our elephant noise makers. With this new template you can either use the picture to trace on something more durable or simply cut the elephant out and use the template itself. Here's are the instructions: 1.Cut out the elephant from the template ...
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