Sometimes I Feel
There are benefits from teaching our children to think positively.
Dr. Samantha Seymour, a clinical psychologist and author of the new book on children's feelings is encouraging parents to see that the best way to combat children's negative thinking is to help them find ways to dealt with difficult emotions in their daily lives.
She writes: "If children are often thinking about things in a negative light, then it is probable that their emotions will also be negative. It's vital that we help children learn to develop more positive and realist ways of thinking."
"Research shows that children who can understand and cope with emotions do better in school, form stronger relationships, have fewer behavioral problems and generally lead happier, healthier and less stressful lives."
"Although it is natural for children to feel strong emotions, they can really overwhelm a young child, so its' not helpful for parents to tell them to 'get over it'. They need their parents' help in discovering ways to talk about what they feel and to deal with that particular state. And, understandably, many parents can find it hard to help their child cope with these 'difficult' emotions."
Dr Seymour's book, Sometimes I Feel, designed to be read to young children aged two to seven, presents an imaginative approach that uses photographs of children with brief statements of how they have experienced being sad, angry, shy or worried.
"My goal was to create a book that parents could read with a child. In my work with children I've found that using photographs of other children is very effective. This is what I've done in the book. Each photographed child tells a little about what it's like when they feel sad, angry, shy or worried
and what they have learnt to do to deal with it. Children who read the book with their parents recognise that others struggle in the same way they do, and are offered a way through these overpowering emotions. I've found this helps children enormously."
"With its expressive photos, simple captions and practical advice, Sometimes I Feel offers a wonderful vehicle for adult and child to explore this vital emotional landscape together" Jennie Connor, former national president of the Children's Book Council of Australia and member of Publication Committee for Early Childhood Australia (ECA).
"Children often feel devastated when confronted wit an emotion that is too overwhelming for words. By identifying, these feelings, showing what they look like and feel like and how to handle them, Samantha Seymour is doing a great service for families that car about kids!"- Dr. John Irvine, author of A Handbook for Happy Families and Thriving at School. Dr. Samantha Seymour
is a mother of two sons aged 5 and 2, is a clinical physiologist based in Tasmania. She works extensively with children, adolescents and their families- and with people of all ages- to improve their emotional well-being through becoming more aware of the connection between their thoughts, emotions and behaviours.
Sometimes I Feel
Author: Dr. Samantha Seymour
Interview with Dr Samantha Seymour... Sometimes I Feel...
1. What was your inspiration behind this book? Dr Samantha Seymour
: My goal was to create a book that a parent could read with a child. In my work with children, I've found that using photographs of other children is very effective. This is what I've done in the book. Each photographed child tells a little about what it's like when they feel sad, angry, shy or worried... and what they have learnt to do to deal with it. Children who read the book with their parents recognise that others struggle in the same way they do, and are offered a way through these overpowering emotions. I've found this helps children enormously.
2. How important are visual aids to help children understand information? Dr Samantha Seymour
: The use of visual aids is very important when helping children to learn and understand new information. Many individuals, particularly children, are visual thinkers. This means that when information is presented to them in the verbal domain only (i.e. talking, discussing, telling a story without pictures), that information can be difficult to understand and make sense of. This can be overwhelming for the child and can result in loss of interest and poor attention for the information that is being presented. However, when this information is presented in a way that makes use of the child's visual skills (i.e. pictures, photographs, cartoons), the child is more likely to understand and make sense of that information, and therefore have an enjoyable and valuable learning experience. This is particularly the case for many children who have been diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum. These children often think in pictures and they can find it extremely difficult to comprehend information that is presented to them verbally. Therefore it is extremely important to avoid using long sentences of verbal information, and to make every attempt to accompany verbal information with visual cues.
3. What are some of the key emotions that your book helps children understand? Dr Samantha Seymour
: Sometimes I Feel, deals specifically with the emotions of anger, sadness, shyness and anxiety (worry). Within my practice, the children that I work with are frequently dealing with difficulties relating to these emotions.
4. Why is it so important for children to understand the emotions? Dr Samantha Seymour
: It is very important for children to gain a good understanding of emotions. Understanding emotions is the very first step in healthy emotional development - in order to develop an understanding of how to cope with and deal with difficult emotions, it is first necessary to have an understanding of what those emotions actually feel like and look like. When a child has the opportunity to learn about emotions and develop strategies to deal with those emotions, they have developed emotional skills for life. They will develop into "emotionally healthy" adults who will be well equipped to cope with the various challenges of life.
5. What are some of the tell-tale signs that your child is overwhelmed by emotions? Dr Samantha Seymour
: There are a number of emotional and behavioural indicators that might suggest that your child is experiencing emotional difficulties. Some of the more obvious signs might be; bouts of tearfulness, frequent displays of anger and frustration, repeated attempts to avoid various situations (e.g. school), persistent worrying and having difficultly separating from the primary care givers. There may also be some more subtle clues such as frequent complaints of stomach aches and headaches.
6. How can parents encourage their children to be open about their emotions? Dr Samantha Seymour
: One of the most important messages that parents can give their children is that their feelings are normal and okay. Just as we encourage our children to talk about their feelings when they are feeling happy or excited, we must also encourage them to talk freely about their emotions when they are feeling sad, anxious or angry. Children are also more likely to be open about their emotions if they see their parents being open about their own emotions. Buy it now at