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How To Help Students Identify Emotions

Talking about emotions is a learned skill. And being able to name the things you're feeling is a first step to being able to deal and respond to those feelings.

Have you found that in the past year (2020—as if you needed the reminder), a single question has gotten a bit harder?

I’m talking about a question we ask each other all the time.

It’s a simple… “how are you?”

For me, the answer has more frequently been… I don’t know!

As a fully grown adult… I could use some help identifying what i’m feeling.

This absence of emotional vocabulary can be even more significant for students.

Talking about emotions is a learned skill. And being able to name the things you’re feeling is a first step to being able to deal and respond to those feelings.

Have you ever gotten the “i’m annoyed” response from a student? To which you, a wise leader—know that “annoyed” is just the easiest emotion to grab off the shelf. It’s *really* a description for being hurt, anxious, insecure, disappointed, or powerless. “Annoyed” can just be an answer to explain negativity without having to be vulnerable.

The team at Orange Students has put together an Emotional Intelligence Bundle to help parents and Small Group Leaders identify and process the emotions of their students in a healthy way. The bundle centers around a tool called a Feelings Wheel. This feelings wheel was specifically adapted by a team of child development experts and mental health professionals to provide students with up-to-date language to expand their emotional vocabulary and grow in their understanding of themselves, God, and others.

With the Emotional Intelligence Bundle, you’ll get…

  • The Feelings Wheel—Updated to be student-friendly
  • How To Use A Feelings Wheel: A Guide for Small Group Leaders
  • Helping Your Kid Manage Their Emotions: A Guide for Parents

Why Use A Feelings Wheel In Small Groups?

By talking about feelings, and increasing your students emotional vocabulary, you’re helping students realize that God has created us with complex and powerful emotions. In Scripture—there are incredible examples of very real people experiencing very raw emotions.

When you help students learn to identify and manage those emotions well, they’ll gain a deeper understanding of how they can love God and others as themselves.

You don’t have to be reminded that students are walking through hard stuff, and experiencing a range of emotions and feelings. They need to be reminded that God is big, and God can handle their emotions. More than that, they need to know that they’re not alone in their emotions. God is with them, and there are people by their side along the way.

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