Feelings Thermometer – A Simple Visualization For Children (To Help Them Cope With Their Feelings)
The purpose of this simple visualization is to help children understand that: feelings are a natural response to the happenings in their life and are neither positive nor negative (rather, it is their coping with them that can lead to positive or negative results); and that feelings are an important source of information about what they like and don’t like…
Introduce to your child the analogy of a thermometer representing their emotional experience; with feelings ranging from “just a little” on its intensity scale, to “a lot.”
As a way of encouraging reflection, curiosity, and facilitating acceptance and positive self-expression around their inner experience, ask your child to consider what color they associate with a particular feeling...
As well as matching a feeling with a color, get creative and explore the various intensities of a feeling with different shades.
Here are some reflection questions to accompany this exercise:
Ask your child to give you examples of situations where they experienced a particular feeling,
Ask your child to choose a feeling/feelings on their "feelings thermometer" that represent their inner experience today (at the moment),
Talk to your child about the way our inner experiences change (either gradually, or suddenly) and ask for examples of times when they experienced a change in their feelings (because of something they thought, saw, or experienced); this may help them to appreciate that feelings are transient, temporary, and in a constant state of change. In addition, it may help them to understand that while they may not be able to control their initial emotional reactions, feelings can change according to the things they choose to do (how they subsequently cope),
Talk to your child about the way other people’s feelings are in a constant process of change and transition as well; this may help them to not take other people's feelings as personally,
Explore ways in which they can take care of themselves while experiencing difficult feelings, that could help them to feel calmer.