Many of the resources and articles you see here on Hope 4 Hurting Kids include ideas and activities for teaching kids to better understand and deal with the difficult emotions that they face in life. To accomplish that goal, we suggest five main strategies to help kids to better recognize, understand and process their emotions. These five skills are represented by the letters SSFMT and the mneumonic:
Super Simple Feelings Management Technique
Here what each letter represents:
S(uper) – See It
We want each child to be able to recognize emotions when presented with a picture of them. Does that person’s face represent anger or fear? Does that body stance demonstrate joy or distress?
S(imple) – Say It
We want kids to develop an emotional vocabulary – to know the difference between being angry and being furious. To have a robust reservoir of emotion words to describe whatever they are feeling. This is accomplished by tasks like naming how they are feeling or putting their emotion on a gauge from less intense words like irritated to more intense words like enraged.
F(eelings) – Feel It
We weren’t overly creative with this part of our mneumonic, but feeling the emotion means understanding how different emotions affect our bodies. When the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, what emotion does that represent? What does a racing heart mean? How does my body react when I feel afraid? This skill is critical in the early detection of emotions.
M(anagement) – Mimic It
This is the process of acting out emotions. Show me what your face looks like when you’re happy. What does it sound like when you’re worried? What does your body look like when you’re nervous?
T(echnique) – Talk About It
Once we can see it, say it, feel it and mimic it, we want kids to talk about their own experiences with different emotions. Tell me about a time you were sad. What made you sad? Why do you think it made you sad? What made it better?
These Super Simple Feelings Management Techniques can be applied to a variety of different activities and games to help kids to learn about emotions. You can tailor many of those games and activities to focus on whatever aspect of SSFMT you want to concentrate on. For example, in the game Bottle Flip Emotions in different rounds you can have the child “Say It” by naming other emotions like the one they land on, “Feel It” by explaining how their body feels when they experience that emotion, “Mimic It” by acting out the emotion in pantomime or showing what their face might look like when feeling that emotions (while other kids in the group “See It” by guessing the emotion being acted out) or “Talk About It” by sharing a time they felt that emotion or a coping mechanism they could use to deal with it.
As you continue to help kids learn about their emotions, keep the Super Simple Feelings Management Technique in mind! You can find all kinds of games and activities to practice these techniques at our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Emotions Help Center.
The Super Simple Feelings Technique is the first step in our three stage comprehensive plan for helping young dealing with emotions called Jump In! Stand Strong! Rise Up!
Find out more about each stage:
- Jump In! (The Super Simple Feelings Management Technique)
- Stand Strong! (Please Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff); and
- Rise Up! (Grand Feelings Exit Plan)