One of the things that scare me the most about parenting Maddie is teaching her how to manage emotions. How to identify her emotions, how to deal with them and how to self-regulate. I think this is a massive task and one that can deeply affect a child and later an adult if not done correctly.
It is so easy to brush off emotions. Small things like telling our kids that ‘there is nothing to be scared of’. Fear is an emotion and by telling them there is nothing to be scared off doesn’t allow them to deal with their fear and tells them that what they are feeling is insignificant.
If I think of myself as an adult and how I learnt how to deal with my emotions, I would say that it has been difficult for me and I find self-regulation a hard task. So how do I teach my daughter about emotions and managing them?
Approaching this as a mom seems like a draughting task. Where do I start? How do I describe emotions to my child? What age is the right age? Why is this important? What methods do I suggest as the solution?
These are just some of the questions that have been on my heart. When registered South African counsellor and mom herself, Phillippa Morassi approached me to read the first book in her collection called My Feeling Friends, I literally breathed a sigh of relief!
Using her passion for nurturing children, Phillippa’s stories in the collection aim to assist children in managing big emotions. Her first book in the series introduces Sammy the Starfish, who is feeling sad and doesn’t know what he can do to feel better.
Each story brilliantly presents a coping skill for your child to learn, which will help them manage a particular emotion. The coping skills include self-regulation techniques, visualisation, body movements and positive affirmations to boost your child’s self-esteem. The stories also introduce the concept of empathy, which allows connection and engagement with others and creates an opportunity for friendships to flourish!
We were sent a copy of Sammy the Starfish to read to Maddie and it just so happens that one of her favourite people in the world (Her teacher Sammi at school) is also named Sammy so she warmed up very quickly to the glum starfish.
The book is sold as a beautiful package which includes a cute Sammy the Starfish beanbag toy which gives the kids a tangible element to take out of the book. Maddie holds on tight to the beanbag while either Brett or I read her the book and practices her self-regulation technique of a body movement the book suggests (I won’t give you any spoilers) on the beanbag and I have caught her asleep with Sammy next to her at night.
Beautifully illustrated by Megan Andrews and I love the simple but quirky little characters in the book including crab who later is also feeling sad and Sammy the Starfish is able to make feel better.
I adore the simple but affective message the book tells to little minds to understand and easily grasp. I have seen how the book has impacted Maddie through the message intriguing her caring nature. Not only does the book allow Maddie to identify her emotion of feeling sad but to also identify when her friends or those around her are feeling sad and help her help them feel better.
Although the book is a softcover the pages are thick and sturdy and are beautifully gloss with somewhat of a texture over the illustrations.
It is just the sweetest little book and I cannot wait to see what Phillippa has next in the collection and add more of these brilliant My Feeling Friends books to Maddie’s bookshelf and further teach her about hard emotions.
I highly recommend this book to any toddler’s bookshelf!
The package is R400 and includes Sammy the Starfish softcover book signed by the author, Sammy the Starfish beanbag toy (girl, boy or neutral colours) and a Sammy the Starfish flashcard. Also included are crayons, coloured pencils and a colouring page, stickers and a badge for the kids to further enjoy. Absolutely brilliant! To order email firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Feeling Friends Sammy the Starfish book launch is being held on Saturday, 27 October from 10am to 11.30am at Grow Occupational Therapy at Sugar Rush Park in Ballito. There will be merchandise on sale, a book reading and signing, a lucky draw, snacks and drinks and of course a chance to meet the author, Phillippa Morassi! Entrance is free however RSVP is essential and there are limited spaces available! I will be there so I hope to see you there too!
DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored by My Feeling Friends and Phillippa Morassi. Although this is a paid for review my views on the products are in no way influenced.
Until next time…
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