Family Connections

Week 2 Topic: Understanding Big Emotions

Did You Know?

Everyone experiences big emotions!

Everyone experiences big emotions such as: anger, worry and sadness. These emotions can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming. To better manage these emotions so that they do not lead to a poor self concept, disruption in relationships, or a breakdown in our health and well being; it is essential that we become aware of our emotions, monitor their impact on our thoughts & behaviors, and learn appropriate ways to positively express and handle these emotions. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 5 Americans will suffer from a debilitating mental illness in a given year (www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth).
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Family Connection Activity

Complete these family activities to explore big emotions with your family.

1. Start a family routine of writing in a gratitude journal. Designate a time in your daily routine to reflect on things that you are grateful for each day. Your gratitude journal can be kept private or you can establish a routine of sharing each family member's reflections each day. Use this free gratitude journal from Calm or create your own. For more ideas about how to help your children develop gratitude, see this video, “How to talk to your kids about Gratitude.”


2. “It can be easy to get caught up in your emotions as you’re feeling them. Most people don’t think about what emotions they are dealing with, but taking the time to really identify what you’re feeling can help you to better cope with challenging situations.” Utilize these tips for success from Mental Health America which includes the importance of “allowing” ourselves to feel and not ignoring those feelings. Try utilizing one of the “what’s underneath” prompts with your child when they are experiencing a big emotion. You can also use the three step process here to talk to kids about their emotions by heightening awareness, naming it and exploring together.


3. A key to managing our emotions is practicing reflection and noticing our emotions.

An activity for older children: Try listening to this 5 minute guided meditation that will help you and your older children notice emotions. This “Self-Compassion Break” provides self talk practices to guide your thinking during a challenging time.

An activity for young children: Help your young child identify their emotions by practicing different emotions with Sesame Street character, Abby. Follow along as she dances and talks about emotions with this video here.


4.Managing emotions is also about recognizing that as parents we cannot allow anger, worry or sadness negatively impact the health and safety of our children. Use art to talk about these important issues with your children. The Coachella Valley HOPE Collaborative is sponsoring a “Child Abuse Prevention” art contest for the month of April. Talk to your children about the importance of controlling one’s anger and preventing child abuse while they create art. See here for details regarding the official art contest.

PSUSD Staff Spotlight

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Todd Mathis

Personally, I enjoy working with my hands and enjoy putting on noise-blocking headphones, turning on a podcast, and fixing/building something in the garage. That opportunity to step-away from things helps me refresh mentally. The podcast and the required steps of my task take my thoughts to another place and require that I step away from the stress or concerns I’m feeling. And, the completion of a task helps strengthen my self-image. When it is time to face something tough again… that part of my brain dealing with the tough issue is rested and refreshed, and I feel better about myself after accomplishing a task.

Family Connection Partners

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