Brother-Bug has big feelings. Really big. And it's hard for him to know what to do with him. He is super smart, already reading, able to comprehend things far beyond his years. This makes it hard for him to have a 4-year old's abilities. So we work and struggle daily with those big feelings.
Last night, while we were going to bed, I made up a new game for him. It seemed to really work. It elicited some good true crying, some giggles, and lots of cuddles.
It went like this:
Mama-Bug: Close your eyes and pretend you can see in a room where all your feelings are. You can see your feelings they all have colors and shapes and textures. They can look like anything you want them to. What do you see?
Mama-Bug: Do you see that bad feeling you were just talking about?
Mama-Bug: What does it look like?
Brother-Bug: Like a big pile of rotten chocolate cake. (More giggles)
Mama-Bug: Now look off to the left. Do you see that trash can and heavy gloves?
Brother-Bug: (with surprise) Yes!
Mama-Bug: Let's deal with this bad feeling. Let's really feel it. Tell me about it.
We talk about the feeling and what led up to it. He cries, we talk some more.
Mama-Bug: Now we have explored that feeling. Let's get rid of it. Put on those heavy gloves so that no icky feeling goo sticks to you. Now pick up the bad feeling and cram it into the trash can. Slam the lid so it can't get out.
Brother-Bug: Okay! (Lots of giggles)
I won't script out the next one. We identified some good feelings. In Brother-Bug's head they all look like different colors of jello. Some have sparkles. On the right side of this place - across from the trash can - is a big, empty bookshelf. He put his good feelings that he wants to save and have again on the shelf. Next to the shelf is a dresser with drawers. This is for storing feelings we aren't ready to deal with.
This game was great. We played with all different kinds of feelings, looking at them, feeling them, and really getting into it. He LOVES throwing the bad feelings away. I hope we can continue to play it and it empowers him to feel in control of his feelings, instead of feeling like they control him.