Helping children to recognize and cope with emotions is one of parents’ richest responsibilities. Emotional intelligence is a necessity for healthy self-esteem, relationships, creativity, empathy
In many ways, our emotions are like the weather–and this can be a great way to encourage kids to think about their emotions. Are they feeling great like a clear sunny day? Or, grumpy like a sky full of black clouds?
Finding descriptions like this can be fun. They can help a child gain a little objectivity on their emotions and stay with them longer, rather than being confused by them and wanting them to go away. When kids better understand their inner world, they can engage with it with more curiousity and confidence. “Oh, I’m just feeling stormy, today. I’ll feel better soon.”
And, this imaginative labelling process can help you to see into their world and understand how you can help.
Ask your child to use types of weather to describe how they’re feeling.
You can read the following mindfulness script word for word or adjust it to suit your child’s personality. If you think something is bothering them when you do the exercise, you can tailor the weather analogies to help them name their emotions, and let them move and change. Leave short pauses of a few seconds where you feel your child needs some time.
Let’s go on an adventure to find your personal weather report. Your weather is made up of the thoughts and feelings you’re having right now.
If you feel calm and happy, maybe that’s kind of like a sunny day. Or if you’re upset, maybe you feel like a stormy ocean. Let’s explore your weather report together. You can give an example of your own weather report if you like.
So, close your eyes for a minute and notice any feelings you have. Big ones or small ones or any kind. If you were telling me about the weather inside you, what would you tell me?
That sounds neat. Can you be a little curious about that feeling? Tell me more about what it feels like? What kind of weather is it?
Is it staying the same or is it changing sometimes?
Great, and do you notice anything else? Is there any other kind of weather inside you? Sometimes in even the stormiest ocean or the rainiest day there’s a little patch of blue sky somewhere, a little bit of being ok.
Feelings are like weather because they change. Clouds float away and rain stops. The weather doesn’t stay the same way forever. So you don’t have to fight with it.
If you’re having a bad feeling, it can be just like that. If you just let it be, and be a little curious about it, it will move along or change and you can see the blue sky again.
And I love to know what your weather is like, too. Then I can bring you a raincoat or something to help you or just be there with you.
Thank you for sharing your weather with me. I really enjoyed it and I hope you did too.