3/17/21: Teaching Kids To Share Feelings Early On In Schools

This came up on a call a few days ago w someone who I highly respect. We were talking abt how often kids go thru experiences at young ages: toddlers on into the first couple of grades, & they often don’t have the vocab to express how they feel. 
A kid goes on a plane & the fam’s all excited to visit the grandparents. Terrible turbulence happens & despite how young the child is, they’re able to comprehend the fear of the bumpy ride, as this vehicle high in the sky, could fall at any moment. They’re scared but other than crying (which many kids actively avoid by a certain age if they can), they don’t know how to express their fear.  So…it stays in their head, it becomes an obsessive fear – just abt every time they see a plane, even flying above them.
Part of that lack of vocab & inability to emote is how human development just happens. But part of it is also what we prioritize in the gifts we give to kids for presents, & the games we play w them at home & school.
Think abt it – for as long as I’ve lived at least, children’s books are mostly about pointing out the animals. Games are centered around naming something that starts w each letter of the alphabet. Presents on Xmas or Chanukah are the biggest & best days/nights of the yr.
We center much of what we do w kids and what they can easily see/recognize/touch/play w.  Never shy about plugging my niece, here in this pic, she’s showing her: Bayyyyy-B, as she calls her (no actual name 😂).
So as I was talking w my friend, the Q came up – what if ‘Show & Tell’ at school was called something else? What if it was called “Show & Feel.” And in fairness to schools, what if we played this game at home & didn’t wait for schools to change the model that’s been arnd for so long?
Typical Show & Tell – you bring in your new toy, a pic of the dog, the vacation you went on over break. These are THINGS. And yes some are experiences. But w Show & Tell the most common exercises is present & talk abt the things & experiences.  We aren’t ever encouraged to talk abt how those things make us FEEL. Imagine we started building those skills at a young age?

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