- It’s ok to have feelings
- Everyone has feelings
- I can recognise feelings in myself and others
- I can ask for help with my feelings
- Hitting, kicking or breaking things is not ok, no matter how we feel
Keep encouraging your child to identify feelings in themselves and to do things that make themselves feel better when they are experiencing unpleasant feelings.
We can be BRAVE! Being BRAVE is:
- Looking people in the eye
- Using a brave voice
- Standing up tall
- Trying your best
- Trying something for the first time
Red and Green thoughts:
What children think has an impact on their feelings and actions so it is important we help children develop positive mindsets and be more confident.
What we want children to learn is we can have RED (unhelpful) thoughts or GREEN (helpful) thoughts. We can choose to turn our RED thoughts GREEN.
- I can do it! I will give it a go
- I will try my best
- I am brave
- I will help Mum/Dad/Brother/Sister
- I’m good at lots of things
- It doesn’t matter if I make a mistake
- I have lots of friends
- I’m going to have a good day. I am looking forward to it
- I’ll ignore people who say nasty things to me
- I’ll try this game because it will be fun
- Mum/Dad/Gran/Grandpa always pick me up at the end of the day – they won’t forget
- I can’t do it and/or I can’t do it without Mum/Dad
- I don’t want to go because I won’t have fun
- No one likes me
- I got something wrong so I’m silly
- I’m not good at this
- I have to win
- I don’t want to do something new – its too scary!
- Reading is too hard
- I’ll look silly if I do that, people will laugh at me
- I’m going to have a bad day
- Mum/Dad/Gran/Grandpa will forget to pick me up at the end of the day!
Changing RED to GREEN
How can we change RED thoughts into GREEN thoughts? Help the children come up with GREEN thoughts for certain situations e.g
- Someone being mean – its not my fault I’m still happy
- Feeling sick – I’ll feel better soon, I can cuddle with Mum/Dad
- Can’t find a toy – I’ll keep looking, I can play with something else
- Best friend didn’t come to school – I can play with someone else, I can still have fun
Feelings vs Thoughts
Talk about the difference between our thoughts and feelings. Talk about how feelings are in our bodies, and thoughts are in our head.
Draw a big traffic light on paper/cardboard with emphasis on RED and GREEN lights – GREEN light means GO!, RED light means STOP! Explain that this is to help us tell the difference between thoughts that help us feel BRAVE and good inside (GREEN) and thoughts that make us feel scared, worried or angry inside (RED). The AMBER light can be seen as a time for changing RED thoughts to GREEN thoughts. It may help to draw happy and unhappy faces onto the traffic lights. Please make sure it is known that RED thoughts are ok to have. You can use examples of RED and GREEN thoughts from the lists above.
Say ‘Hello’ to GREEN thoughts – talk about times when we might have a RED thought and how we can help ourselves to feel better by turning it into a GREEN thought instead. Write/draw GREEN thoughts on a sheet of green paper (or use a green pen) and turn them into a GREEN thoughts book.
Practise identifying RED and GREEN thoughts as much as possible. Model turning RED thoughts into GREEN ones and help your child to do the same with their own RED thoughts.
Praise your child for using these strategies in times of stress and for being BRAVE.
Helpful Links for explaining feelings