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Emotions can be a tricky thing, and tough for kids to learn to express themselves in an appropriate manner. In Mad to Glad, Angie Harris offers ways for both the parent and child to discuss and express their emotions.
Mad to Glad: Mindfulness Lessons to Help Children Cope with Changing Emotions
About the Book:
Children are often told to “Pay attention!”, but how do they do that when a child’s emotions and thoughts change so quickly? Mad to Glad teaches children the following Mindfulness lessons in a fun and interactive way to increase their focusing abilities. The lessons included are,
- Energy transfer: Using physical movement to change negative thoughts to a positive attitude of the mind.
- Visualizations: Using a child’s imagination to achieve goals.
- Affirmations: Using positive phrases to build a child’s confidence.
- Focused breathing: Using the breath to become aware of the present moment.
I have truly enjoyed reading Mad to Glad with my kids. Sometimes when they start reacting without thought, I remind them what we’ve learned and ask if they want to read Mad to Glad again. It’s got some great advice for the kids, but it’s easily translatable to adults as well. Emotions really are tricky things – but one misconception I think people face is that emotions are bad to have. We can’t react. We can’t be mad about something. We shouldn’t feel sad and should instead count all our blessings.
To all that I say NO! Emotions are real! We do feel them, we must feel them, and we must allow each other to feel them! I’ve often told my kids, especially when they are crying, that it’s OK to feel “that” way, but it’s how we respond that we need to work on. Having feelings does not make you a bad person I tell them. It makes them human. To my joy, Angie stated it very well on the first page in Mad to Glad.
Throughout the rest of the book Angie shares different scenarios kids can relate to. A sibling playing with your toy makes you mad. A friend playing with a new friend makes you sad. Each situation then has an activity to help the child take their emotions are respond in a way that doesn’t effect others. Feeling mad? Jump up and down 3 times. Then jump and see if you can touch the sky. The mad energy is transferred, and instead of yelling, you can speak to me calmly.
While not all of the activities were ones my kids connected with, or wanted to do in that situation, it has opened a great dialogue into what they can do to help themselves. The sad truth is we can’t control our kids emotions, and we can’t control how they react. What we can do though, is give them the tools and the understanding to figure it out.
How do you help your kids go from Mad to Glad?
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One thought on “Book Review: Mad to Glad by Angie Harris”
I have been looking for a good book on emotions! My preschooler loves Inside Out, but she loves to read so so much that I knew there must be a story to give her the same lessons! Thank you!