You can submit your families emotion stories at firstname.lastname@example.org
Working on emotions with young children will help support their growth in many ways. Please let me know if you would like more information on how to start making these stories with your family. Many of our emotion stories start when we move to a new location. Children love airplane travel planning and stories.
The book Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child – looks at 18 key emotions every child should be able to identity and explain.
Please make sure your child knows the following emotions and how they feel in his/her body.
My book is a parenting book based in psychology and my belief that children need to understand their own emotional vocabulary to make connections and thrive.
I give parents/teachers lots of suggestions on how to explain emotions and their intensity to young children.
Here is a group lesson that I do to children as young as three. I call it “Emotions Three Levels.” We look at the four key emotions all 3 and 4 year old know and how to fine tune this so we can tell others how we really feel.
Parents have reported that after their children understand these levels and have the actual vocabulary consistently working in the household there are fewer arguments.
Using your hands and arms show how an elevator goes up and down. This is how our emotions are also. We can be happy but have different levels of happy. Exaggerate with your facial expressions and explain how you might go from cheerful to excited. When I was doing this with a group of students in Thailand, I started out with the story of coming to school and be very cheerful because I saw my friends playing on the playground. Then I remembered that it was my birthday so I went from being cheerful to excited. I asked them to think about the word “jubilant” and what would make me feel even more happy or excited than my own birthday party. A four year old said “You would be jubilant if it was also the Kings birthday.” Remember children love stories so weave stories around these levels of emotions.
Basic Emotion “Happy”
- Low level – Cheerful
- Medium Level – Excited
- High Level – Jubilant
Basic Emotion “Sad”
- Low Level – Ignored
- Medium Level – Forlorn
- High Level- Miserable
Basic Emotion “Angry”
- Low Level – Annoyed
- Medium Level – Irritated
- High Level- Furious
Basic Emotion “Afraid”
- Low Level – Uneasy
- Medium Level – Fearful
- High Level – Panicked
Many parents and teachers just don’t understand how important it is for a child to accurately tell them how they are feeling. With practice and a clear understanding of these emotions, kids can tell us how they feel.
When your child understands that emotions can have several levels you can build from the original 16 emotions on this list to 60!
Four Basic Emotions World Wide
HAPPY —– SAD —– ANGRY—– AFRAID
HIGH Level Emotion Words
Elated Miserable Fuming Panicked
Ecstatic Crushed Furious Horrified
Jubilant Helpless Outraged Terrified
Overjoyed Worthless Hateful Petrified
Radiant Depressed Burned up Desperate
MEDIUM Level Emotion Words
Delighted Forlorn Disgusted Alarmed
Excited Dejected Irritated Fearful
Bubbly Slighted Hostile Strained
Tickled Defeated Riled Shaky
Glowing Burdened Biting Jittery
LOW Level Emotion Words
Cheerful Resigned Peeved Uneasy
Glad Blue Bugged Tense
Pleased Glum Annoyed Anxious
Amused Gloomy Ruffled Nervous
Relieved Ignored Cross Puzzled
With five year olds I like to have them understand these 60 different emotions. I also give them the three dimensional model of emotions from Plutchik so they understand how emotions vary in degrees.
We often use the analogy of an elevator or escalator so they can see low level emotions, medium level of emotions and high level of emotions. I explain situations and they guess how I was feeling. I like to have the students work in small groups so they can discuss how they think I was feeling. Then it is really just a guessing game to see if they can match up with what I am talking about.
Example: Julia arrives at school and all of her friends are playing tag but they don’t ask her to join in their game. Julia is feeling a low level emotion of sad. What might Julia be feeling? They will look over the five low level sad emotions and ‘guess’ what I might be feeling. This is a common feeling on the playground so I ask them to explore the emotion of ‘ignored’. We give examples of other times we feel ignored.
This website has many great TCK resources and things for global families. Please visit it here.
The following books are great if you have a five year old:
Julia’s Top 30 books for Five-year-olds
- Alexander, Claire, Lucy and the Bully
- Blohm, Judith, M., Where in the World Are You Going?
- Brown, Marc, D.W.’s Guide to Preschool
- Cain, Janan, The Way I Feel
- 5. Carlson, Nancy, Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come
- 6. Child, Lauren, I Am Too Absolutely Small for School
- Couric, Katie, The Brand New Kid
- Cummings, Carol, Finding Feelings
- Curtis, Jamie Lee, It’s Hard to be Five!
- Cuyler, Margery and Yoshikawa, Sachiko, Kindness is Cooler
- Deal, Russell, The Wrong Stone
- Hickman, Martha Whitmore, I’m Moving
- Joosse, Barbara and Lavalle, Barbara, Mama, Do You Love Me?
- Henkes, Kevin, Wemberely Worried
- Lovell, Patty, Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon
- Lucas, David, Halibut Jackson
- Ludwig, Trudy, Sorry
- McCormick, Wendy, Daddy, Will You Miss Me?
- Meiners, Cheri, Understand and Care
- Myers, Bernice, It Happens to Everyone
- Oâ€™Neill, Alexis, The Recess Queen
- Pak, Soyung, Sumi’s First Day of School Ever
- Penn, Audrey, The Kissing Hand
- Rockwell, Anne, Welcome to Kindergarten
- Rylant, Cynthia, The Relatives Came
- Verdick, Elizabeth and Heinlen, Marieka, Words Are Not for Hurting
- Ward, Heather Patricia, I Promise I’ll Find You
- Wells, Rosemary, Mama Don’t Go
- Wickens, Roth, My first Day of School
- Wolff, Ashley, Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten