THE Christchurch-based All Right? campaign is launching a fun new resource to help kids identify and manage their emotions.
Chitter Chatter is a game designed to encourage families to talk about important stuff like emotions, empathy and managing worries.
Each pack of the card game, designed for 5-to-12-year-olds, contains 40 fun challenges that can be applied to any emotion under the sun – including the 13 suggested in the game. Chitter Chatter challenges include explaining an emotion to an alien, imagining a world where a certain feeling doesn’t exist, and acting out an emotion in slow motion.
All Right? manager Sue Turner says while emotions can be tricky, the more we learn about our feelings and how to manage them, the better we’re able to cope with what life throws at us.
“Spending time learning about our emotions, and what to do about them, helps equip young people with skills they will be able to draw on for the rest of their lives.
“It’s completely normal to feel frustrated, worried, excited or overwhelmed sometimes. Supporting tamariki to talk about how they’re feeling will help them better understand and manage their emotions,” Sue says.
Child psychologist Catherine Gallagher says there are so many messages around what good parenting looks like, and it is easy to feel like we’re falling short of our own expectations.
“What I like about Chitter Chatter is that through playing this game with your kids you are officially doing some great parenting. You’re having fun, spending time together and teaching them about emotions,” she says.
Catherine says learning more about our emotions is something we should be doing all the time, not just when times are tough.
“In the busyness of life, we don’t attend to things until they become a problem, and emotions are no exception. Whether you are already in this zone or just worried about the possibility, giving you and your kids an experience of talking about emotions is great money in the bank for those times when it is really needed.”
Catherine says emotions tell us a lot about ourselves, our relationships and our world.
“To learn the language of emotions, it is essential that we actually feel a range of emotions, and not just the positive ones.
“As parents it’s important to support our children when they are feeling specific emotions to help them make sense of what they mean and what we can do to move through them.
“While this can sound like a tall order, most parents are probably doing a great job of this already. Sometimes, however, we just need a wee reminder of why it is so important and how to do this stuff with some confidence. These cards can be a great place to start.”
Chitter Chatter packs can be bought at www.allright.org.nz for $15.