One thing that is super important to us is that Aodhan has emotional literacy. I remember reading an article years ago about how boys often aren’t equipped with the language and self-confidence around emotions to properly express how they are feeling. What this often means is that all emotions come out as frustration, anger and aggression.

I want to give Aodhan the tools that he needs to communicate and express his emotions in authentic and real ways (and yes, that will include anger, frustration and even aggression). I think that by providing him with a sense of emotional literacy I am advocating for him in a proactive and powerful way.

There are millions of ways to help your child feel confident in their emotions, including: showing them a full range of honest emotions, using literature to talk through emotions, role┬ámodel and use different characters to work through different ways of dealing with emotions in a positive and healthy way. Aodhan is almost three, and although I have never had to help him through a tantrum (yet), he does have big emotions. He does feel sadness, loss and new situations in big ways. So, I thought about making some emotion rocks to help us discuss, label and more deeply connect with emotions that we experience. Don’t get me wrong though – I am not trying to avoid tantrums. If he needs to explode emotionally, I will be there for him and hold him through it and discuss it afterward.

I just grabbed some of the many river rocks that are floating around our house and I selected some of the more basic emotion images from a free file I found on Tip Junkie. I just used a little bit of Mod Podge to attach the faces to each of the stones and left them to dry over night.

Aodhan found them first thing in the morning and I found them perfectly arranged in a line (with a heart rock in the middle). We have already used them to talk about our emotions (mine, his, the cats’) and highly recommend this quick DIY parenting tool.

Here’s a link to the free emotional faces file.

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9 Responses to Emotional Literacy Rocks

  1. SEAmama says:

    I just found your blog and I love it! It’s hard to find mommies out there who’s ideals align with mine. Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us.

    • hisveganmama says:

      SEAmama, thanks for the comment. I agree that it IS so very hard to find other mamas who are understand my parenting philosophy and the choices we make every day with Aodhan. I look forward to reading your blog tonight!

  2. awakeshawn says:

    I feel the same way as SEAmama … great to meet you. Found you through Kids Co-Op link up. I can’t wait to explore more posts like this … painting rocks is one activity I have planned and this is a nice aspect to consider. Thanks!!

  3. Oh I want to find that emotion file now. Very cool. So is the idea that he uses them to help explain how he is feeling, or for you to use them as a tool to introduce that emotion? I love the idea on the natural rocks…lets just hope no tantrums and then he throws them! (Helmets at the ready!) he he Thanks for linking to Family Frolics.

  4. What a great way to teach children about feelings. I featured your post on my blog today.Thanks for linking up to Kids Co-op.x

  5. This is a great idea. We have a poster of emotions that I made for Jake to be able to identify with them, but I think putting one each on a tangible object would be a good next step for him. Thanks for sharing. x

  6. [...] Rocks — Lyndsay at Our Feminist Play School created emotion rocks for her family to use. I love this idea so much. This can easily be adapted for older kids by having [...]

  7. [...] Rocks — Lyndsay at Our Feminist Play School created emotion rocks for her family to use. I love this idea so much. This can easily be adapted for older kids by having [...]

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