Telling stories to calm big emotions
'Stories empower us to move forward and master the moments when we feel out of control. When we give them words our frightening and painful experiences-when we literally come to terms with them-they often become much less frightening and painful. When we help our children name their pain and their fears, we help them tame them', "The Whole Brain Child" by Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
Creating a story about the frightening experience may help
For example: A story about going to prep for the first time:(add drawings or photos to your story book)
What happens before, during and after prep
Your child's feelings:
Explore your child's internal experience, not just the rosy version. Your child may feel scared, sad and upset at prep. He may miss you.
A message of empowerment:
Give your child something he can do to feel better and attain mastery. This could mean talking to the teacher when he feels upset.
THE STORY: Page 1: Today Jack is going to prep. He has his breakfast and gets dressed. He will learn lots of things and make friends at prep.
Page 2: Sometimes Jack might be sad when Mum or Dad say goodbye. If he feels sad he can tell the teacher for comfort or help. He knows that he could play with his friends as well.
Page 3: At the end of each day, Jack will get to come home and tell his Mum and Dad about his day at school. His family are excited to hear about everything that happened.
TELLING OR READING A STORY ABOUT PAST OR UPCOMING EVENTS CAN HELP YOUR CHILD ACCEPT ANXIETY AND FEARS ABOUT THAT EVENT.
Resource-The Whole Brain Child by Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson