“She hurt my feelings!” comes the wail from my oldest daughter. I’m tempted to close my eyes and rub my forehead, because I’m pretty sure that at five, she doesn’t understand exactly what “hurt my feelings” means. She learned it from one of her little friends, though, and it’s the default phrase when she’s upset with her younger sister (who then learns it too and I hear it more). Talking about feelings with toddlers and preschoolers is tough because feelings are an abstract concept. (And, honestly, even I have a hard time understanding my feelings at times, much less managing them.) This is something The Mother Company understands because they are run by two moms. They now have three books to help parents discuss feelings with children – they are emotional how to books for kids.
A Little Book About Feelings
This book uses really cute felt animals to talk about feelings. It was easy to see what each of the animals was “feeling” just by looking at them. One page explains, “We all have so many different feelings and they change all day long.” I liked the way it reassured children that it’s okay to express our feelings. This hardcover book is 30 pages and suggested for kids ages 2-5 (both my girls, 3 and 5, really enjoyed it).
When Miles Got Mad
This is the newest book by The Mother Company and look specifically at the feeling of anger. Miles is a little boy who gets mad at his younger brother for breaking his toy. (Hmmm, sounds familiar!) But when he looks in the mirror, he sees a fuzzy red monster standing there instead of himself. The monster tells Max, “I’m mad.; I’m what you feel like inside when you’re really mad and yelling.” With the help of the monster, Max talks through his anger, calms down, and reconciles with his brother. This hardcover book is also 30 pages and recommended for kids ages 2-6.
My Feelings Activity Book
This book lets kids apply what they’ve learned in the other books and talk more about their feelings. With fill-in-the-blanks and spaces to draw, kids talk about themselves and their feelings. The book helps children think about how to deal with their feelings. For example, the “scared” page says, “When I feel scared, I… (colour and circle the images that are true for you!) feel my heart pounding… tell a grown-up about it… go someplace safe… squeeze my lovey [stuffie] tight.” Children thus have solutions or ideas for dealing with the feeling next time they experience it.
This hardcover book is 30 pages and recommended for children 3-8.Sunshine (age 5) had fun with the stickers and was very excited about doing the book, although the perfectionist in me wanted to help her do it very neatly because it’s such a nice book.
Each of the books complements the Ruby’s Studio DVDs about Feelings and Friendship, which can also be downloaded as complete shows or in segments. For more information about The Mother Company and their products, visit their website.
Bonnie Way is a freelance writer, editor and blogger at The Koala Bear Writer.She has three daughters (ages five, three and newborn) and enjoys scrapbooking, rock climbing, hiking, baking, and reading. Her mascot is a small, stuffed koala who has been to Niagara Falls, Mount Robson, and Uluru with her.