The Emotional Wellness Project™ is designed to help kids make sense of their emotional worlds, by equipping the adults who guide them.
What is the emotional wellness project?
After working in public education for over 25 years, The Emotional Wellness Project™ was launched as a platform for sharing practical strategies for developing emotional wellness that are based on educational best practices and current research in the fields of cognitive behavioral therapy and social emotional learning.
Investing in the Emotional Wellness Project was a natural outcome of a desire to share successful practices in my work as a school counselor with other school counselors, educators, child therapists, parents and guardians.
Why did you write your book?
The book My Incredible Talking Body: Learning to Be Calm, was written after I was charged to make a positive impact on the social and emotional development of the students in an elementary school with a student population over 1,200 students in grades preschool to 6th grade.
When I couldn’t find a picture book to reinforce all of the great skills the children were learning in the social emotional learning curriculum that was already being taught in their classrooms, I created a homemade version of this book to support my teaching. Happily, I found the book provided an efficient and effective way of making the research based strategies easily accessible to younger children. The picture book format was engaging, easy to deliver, and flexible for using with individuals, small groups, classes, and larger student groups.
After observing positive outcomes while using this book with hundreds of students over the years, I wanted to share this tool and the strategies contained within it with others in my field and related careers. To that end, I have been a session presenter at the state school counseling conference for the last two years as well as presenting at educator conferences for local school districts in the Puget Sound region.
Additionally, it is my belief that parents and caregivers play an essential role in supporting social emotional development. It is not enough to teach children skills at school. Parent engagement is crucial to make a lasting impact in the lives of students. Over the last five years, I have invested time in parent education on the topic of emotions management with great feedback from parents.
The Emotional Wellness Project is designed to help kids make sense of their emotional worlds, by equipping the adults who guide them. Whether you are a parent or grandparent, teacher, counselor, mentor or otherwise, The Emotional Wellness Project is for you.
Why emotional wellness?
Growing up is a difficult thing. Kids are constantly confronted with brand new challenges every day, each bringing with it a new and often unanticipated emotion. As children grow, they slowly become more and more aware of their feelings and the feelings of others, but often don't know how to identify them or how exactly to respond.
Do you remember the first time you felt angry with a friend? Or how it felt to unexpectedly lose a pet or a loved one?
Emotions are powerful, and without tools to help them cope and process what they're feeling kids can often feel overwhelmed. It's our job as parents, educators and mentors to help children understand emotion, as well as teach them how to successfully manage them, so they can confront the many challenges of life head-on with empathy and kindness toward others.
This teaching not only happens in schools, but also in the home.
What does emotional wellness look like?
People who are emotionally healthy have the ability to recognize and communicate about their emotions effectively. They successfully manage emotion by regulating their physical and behavioral reactions in ways that promote wellness and positive relationships.
Emotionally healthy people are compassionate and empathetic. They know how to care for themselves and care for others, and can approach problems or conflicts in their lives with flexibility and a positive mindset.
How can we nurture social and emotional wellness in children?
1) Encourage recognition of emotions.
2) Build ability to label and communicate feelings appropriately.
3) Teach strategies for self-regulation.
4) Develop decision-making and problem-solving skills.
5) Nurture empathy for others.
The Emotional Wellness Project:
Cultivating emotional wellness in children by equipping the adults who care for them.