Giving Yourself and Your Children "Permission to Feel"

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            Marc Brackett, in his book Permission to Feel, explores a variety of topics related to emotional health. Check him out: there is much good material on his website (

Here are some quick take-aways I have put together that you might find helpful when dealing with your own feelings and those of your children:

·         All feelings are just feelings - not facts or truths.

·         Feelings are not permanent - they change over times.

·         You cannot get in trouble for what you feel - you only get in trouble for what you say and do with those feelings.

·         Naming your feelings can be helpful: instead of "I feel bad" you might explore a little deeper: am I actually sad? ... angry? ... worried?... anxious?

·         Ranking your feelings on a 1 to 10 scale can be helpful (10 being the most extreme expression of that feeling, 1 being the least expression of that feeling). Then you ask yourself and your child: what would make this better?

·         Feelings like anger and hurt are often expressed as reactions - immediate and unthinking actions. We hope for the gift of time - even just a moment! - so that we can breathe, think, and create a response. Responses often reflect our "better selves" and create less emotional havoc.

·         Taking everything personally is a difficult way to live - believe me, I know!

·         If your child (or you) is not a talker, sit down and try some other ways to communicate what is inside: draw a picture, mold some clay, act out the feeling, make up and sing a song, make a face, act like the animal version of your feeling.

·         If things get too "hot" have everyone take a time out. If you need to settle down - or apologize for your own outburst - give yourself a time out. It actually works wonders!

·         Forgive and then forgive and then forgive - yourself, too!

·         Try to end the day with hugs and humor - I guarantee that it will help you sleep better.


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This page contains a single entry by John published on September 15, 2020 5:08 PM.

Caring for Ourselves and Others in the Time of Corona was the previous entry in this blog.

Summer Doldrums? Create a Habit Grid for You and Your Children is the next entry in this blog.

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