Coping Calmly with Difficult Feelings

Since the start of term, children in their third year of Casa (Kindergarten) to Lower Elementary Grade 3 have been learning how to recognise different emotions and identify strategies to cope with these difficult feelings. Our weekly sessions have been dedicated to the cultivation and strengthening of important social-emotional learning (SEL) skills through the Zippy’s Friends program.

We first looked at recognising sadness and happiness, in both themselves and in others. Through the activities each group learnt to identify what they could do to feel better. Some students showed excellent coping strategies, such as thinking happy thoughts, going to their bedrooms and looking out the window, or going to a quiet place and counting crystals.

We also looked at recognising anger and annoyance, and through characters in stories, the children learnt how to identify these feelings and explored different ways to stay calm. Grade One students learned how to use a ‘Calm-down’ Jar and practiced taking deep breaths as they observed glitter settle to the bottom of the jar. It proved to be such a successful strategy that in the following session, they all had the chance to make their own mini ‘Calm-down’ Jar.

Throughout the program there is a continual focus on the Golden Rules to formulating a good solution: Does it help me feel better? Does it hurt me or anyone else? These questions that are woven into most sessions help every child actively think how to resolve a difficult feeling or situation successfully.

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