Emotional education picture book helps children cope with sadness
“Not a big deal! Stop crying!” Have you ever heard of this when you were small, or said so to your kids? Children tend to suppress their feelings if they are always being neglected when feeling sad, which may have negative impacts on their development. Crying Leaf is the second bilingual picture book of YWCA’s Emotional Education series. Recommended by clinical psychologist and educational psychologist, it is good for pair-reading and a great tool for exploring children’s emotions.
The new book explores “sadness”. The protagonist Maple was sad because the wind destroyed the decorations he prepared. He held back his tears to avoid disappointing his father. The book uses everyday example to portray children’s sadness and guides young readers to express their feelings with questions. It also provides tips for parents so that they can better handle their children’s sorrow. The leaf hunt mentioned at the end of the book is also an educational resource suitable for parent-child activities.
To help parents understand emotional education, the Association organised an online sharing session in early July. Ms. Alicia Tse, YWCA clinical psychologist, shared ideas of the 5-step “Emotion Coaching” and emphasised the importance of identifying children’s emotion, encouraging expression, and searching for solutions. She also suggested parents to observe and guide their children with different media, e.g. games, drawings, etc, if the kids are not good at expressing emotions verbally.
Ms. Diane Lo, educational psychologist and children book author pointed out that children will become more aware of their emotions and can learn vocabularies that help to express their feelings verbally by reading picture books about emotions. It is also crucial to let them understand it is ok to be sad and to learn how to manage them.
Ms. Elsa Hung, YWCA registered social worker and play therapist, took Crying Leaf as an example to illustrate how one can use picture books as a tool to teach young kids emotion management. For example, questions help children project their own experience onto the protagonist and understand others’ feeling. Comparing oneself with the characters also give insights on how to cope with sadness.
Crying Leaf is now available at major bookstores and the coming Hong Kong Book Fair. You may enjoy discount for the new book and Angry Croissant, the first volume of the Emotional Education series, by making orders here. Make an order now!