Emociones y sentimientos. ¿Cómo trabajarlos con niños?

Emotions and feelings: How to work them with children?

The inner emotional world is very complex and if it is difficult for adults to manage how we feel, imagine children who do not have as many tools as we do to cope with these situations.

We cannot forget that, although they are children, they can understand and comprehend everything that is explained to them, that is why, to help them to self-manage it is essential that they first understand what is happening to them and why it is happening to them, that is to say, the first step is understanding.

Emotions are a physical response to a change and allow us to face different situations. For example, when a loved one dies, we feel anger and sadness and we feel it in our body: our heart races, we feel stomachache, etc. These emotions are transitory and very intense and give us information about how we should act, so the more we know about them, the better we will be able to manage them.

Feelings, on the other hand, are a mixture of emotion and thought. In other words, feeling is what appears when we label an emotion and associate it with a thought.

Emotion is intense, quick and unconscious and always precedes the feeling. The feeling, on the other hand, is long-lasting, calmer and conscious.

But… How can we make children understand these concepts? We give you some tools:

  1. The movie “INSIDE OUT” is a great tool. This movie reflects in a very clear and funny way the basic emotions and their most common representations: joy, sadness, fear, disgust and anger. Through these characters you can make a later reflection encouraging empathy: Do you feel like that? Have you ever felt like that? Do you understand what happens to the main character? What would you do in her place?
  2. The book “Monstruo de colores” by Ana Llenas. This book is perfect for the little ones as it clearly illustrates the basic emotions and allows them to identify with the main character and his situations.
  3. Do our activity to identify emotions. Here is the link so you can see how to do it in more detail.

Alba Macias

Primary education teacher, specialized in special needs.

Pedagogical Responsible of StartKidsUp