We know how important mental health is in general, but even as adults we sometimes don’t fully understand how to understand mental health issues and the feelings that accompany them, including that butterflies in the stomach feeling. This means that dealing with their mental health and recognising more about it is even more challenging for children. To guide you in helping your kids deal with mental health feelings we have a lovely 8 week series for you with activities to help them understand their mental health. You can work through the course week by week or revisit some of the topics when you feel your kids need them. Why not sign up to get it straight into your inbox below?
These activities go hand in hand with the book Daniel’s Dreams written by Leanne Brown and illustrated by Yogesh Mahajan. Do check out her website as well – she’s got loads of wonderful resources on the site as well as her fabulous book. Feel free to get the full digital resource pack too (£9.50)!
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Butterflies in the stomach or your belly
For the first post in the series we will be discussing “butterflies in your belly”. This can be anxiety, anticipation, nervousness, or many other things. As adults we know how to identify those emotions and what they mean, but for children the emotions may be hard to comprehend and even harder to verbalise. By linking the emotion to something that they can visualise, for example, having butterflies in their belly kids can begin to talk about the physical feelings caused by their emotions.
We have a lovely printable for you to use to start the conversation around anxiety, feelings of worry, nervousness, and those emotions that your kids feel in their belly.
Let’s take a look at the printable!
We have split the butterfly illustration into two sides; good butterflies and worried butterflies. Each side will help your kids realise that the same emotion and feelings can be felt both when something good and something not so good happens.
By writing or drawing some of their emotions into the corresponding side, kids can learn to identify what events lead to positive emotions and what events bring forth the negative ones.
Good butterflies can help kids recognise that some forms of “fluttering in their belly” can be a good thing. These good butterflies can be anticipation for events such as holidays, parties, even doing something fun like having a play date with their friends.
Worried butterflies can be that feeling of anxiousness or worry that sometimes creeps up on us all, including kids. These worried butterflies can be because of school anxiety, such as when preparing for exams. They can also happen when kids are anxious about situations with their friends, issues within their home life, or even just the usual bits like being worried you forgot your homework at home.
How to use the printable
The printable is so simple to use. Using the butterfly in the image your kids can write that gives them good butterflies on the left side of the sheet and what gives them worried butterflies on the right side. You can then take a gentle approach and discuss what the kids have drawn based on how the kids start the conversation. Or you can guide the dialogue as you see fit.
By using this strategy you can help your child identify what their feelings may mean and come up with solutions on how best to cope.
<< Click through the circular image below to get your own activity sheet >>
There you go! It’s that simple. We hope that you follow along in the series and remind you to sign up for our newsletter to get our posts straight to your inbox – this is our sign up for a weekly summary:
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Do you need more feelings resources? Check out these from the site.
There are also some great mindfulness resources from the web too. Take a look.
See you here for next weeks post,
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