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.

Helping Children Deal With Sadness
In this installment of our series of one page guides for helping children to deal with difficult emotions, we look at helping children to deal with Sadness. Click here or on the picture above for a pdf version of this graphic ...
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Feelings Glasses
Using Feelings Glasses to Teach Kids About Emotions
Feelings Glasses is a great game to use to teach a group of kids, teens or adults what it looks like when we express emotions. In fact. one of the keys to teaching kids about emotions is helping them to recognize how those emotions make them look and act. Like any good "role-playing" exercises, Feelings Glasses mixes exaggeration and fun with learning. Here's how it works: Buy a few pairs of different colored glasses. I got mine at a party store around Halloween for a couple of dollars each, but I've also seen them at various dollar stores and Hobby ...
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Helping Children Deal With Anxiety
In this installment of our series of one page guides for helping children to deal with difficult emotions, we look at helping children to deal with Anxiety. Click here or on the picture above for a pdf version of this graphic ...
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Cool Down Cubes
Using Cool Down Cubes to Help Kids Deal With Emotions
It’s important to teach kids ways that they can calm down when they are angry or anxious or stressed out. In the heat of overwhelming emotions though, it’s easy for kids to forget the methods you have taught them. That’s why if you work with kids, it useful to have a jar full of cool down cubes, and it’s simple too! Just buy some plastic ice cubes. I got mine from Five Below after the Fourth of July. Write various calm down techniques on the cubes (one per cube). Permanent marker works best. We’ve included a list of the techniques ...
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Helping Children Deal With Anger
Helping Children Deal With Anger
Welcome to our new series of one page guides for helping children to deal with difficult emotions. In this first installment, we look at dealing with Anger. Click here or on the picture above for a pdf version of this graphic ...
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Stress bubbles
Using Bubbles to Help Kids Relieve Stress
Stress is a huge issue for all kids in our society today. The levels of stress amongst children from disrupted homes though is through the roof. Dealing with things like fighting parents, complex schedules, new homes, new family members, stressed out parents, packed schedules and so much more can leave kids and teens from disrupted homes with lots a stress and little time. One simple solution which works amazing well with younger kids (though you may be surprised how well it can work with older kids too) is a simple container of bubbles. Here are a couple of ideas of ...
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Peanut Brittle Relaxation
The Peanut Brittle to Peanut Butter Relaxation Game
The word “peanuts” has become something of a “dirty word” for people who work with kids. In this article, we’re going to talk about how a simple peanut based exercise can help kids to calm down. Whether they’re anxious, stressed out or angry, the Peanut Brittle to Peanut Butter relaxation technique is a fun way for kids to remember how to calm down. Here’s how it works: Have the child inhale and stiffen their body like PEANUT BRITTLE. Encourage them to squeeze their muscles, clench their fists, curl their toes, push their chest out and contract the muscles in their ...
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Difference between Empathy and Sympathy
The Difference Between Empathy and Sympathy
In ministering to children from disrupted homes, we stress the need to empathize with what the kids are going through – not sympathize! This great video is one of the most succinct explanations of the difference between empathy and sympathy that I have found. The video makes some great points, and I encourage you to watch the whole thing (it’s only 2:53 long after all). One of the interesting things in the video was a study of professions where empathy is relevant and identifying four components of empathy: Perspective taking (taking someone else’s Staying out of judgment Recognizing emotion in ...
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Anxiety Paper Airplane
Using a Paper Airplane to Aleviate Anxiety
Anxiety is a very real problem for many kids and teens, and there is no “quick fix.” However, there are techniques you can use to help a child struggling with anxiety and some of them are quite simple. This paper airplane technique requires only one piece of paper (almost any type will do), some sort of writing utensil and time to talk to the child dealing with anxiety. Here’s how it works. Sit down with the anxious child and talk about the things that are causing them anxiety. You can guide the conversation, but make sure to allow the child ...
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Bubble Stress Relief
How Packaging Material Can Help Relieve Stress
Kids these days are stressed. There are a multitude of different ways to help kids deal with stress, but there is one very simple stress reliever that you’ve probably all tried at one point or another - packaging bubbles. Despite Amazon and many other online stores abandoning this joy inducing packaging in their boxes, it’s still pretty easy to get you hands on the old-fashioned bubble wrap (check out your local office supply store, do it yourself moving store or big box retailer). I like to have a little fun with it and make a label for the bubble wrap ...
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Emotions Candy Game
The Emotions Candy Game
Getting kids to talk about their emotions plays a huge part in helping them to process those emotions, get past them and move on with their lives. When you can combine that process with candy, well that just creates an all-around great situation. That why we were so excited to come across the M&M emotion game at Living a Rad Life. In this game, you use snack sized bags of chocolate covered candy (M&M’s) in order to get kids talking about their emotions. You and the child (or every child if you are working with a group) starts with one ...
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Stress Foods Christmas
Stress Foods and Christmastime
Christmas is such a special time for those of us who love the Lord. It is a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Unfortunately it has also become one of the most stressful times of the year. The hustle and bustle of shopping, church programs, getting together with families and friends tends to create self-imposed stress. As adults most of know when to back off, say no and we’ve learned to take time to enjoy the season. Unfortunately for many kids, their families, surroundings and circumstances don’t give them the option of a calm Christmas. Most are stressed to ...
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