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This Feelings Activity Book is designed for children to mainly explore for themselves, but as teachers and parents you will be aware of any individual support requirements of your children?
Adults and society in general appear to feel a need to protect children from emotional pain (Warnick 2017). It is not possible to prevent children from feeling sad, frightened or any other ‘negative’ emotion. It is much more beneficial to prepare children for death and the emotional turmoil which may occur during any life crisis, providing them with coping strategies to see them through life, rather than be protected from it (Warnick 2017).
Children come across death all the time, whether it’s a bird in the garden; a stranger on the news; a character in a favourite film or a loved one. They need help from adults to make sense of what they see and are curious and more open to talking about it than adults often realise.
If death is not talked about, children can form their own inaccurate beliefs and may feel isolated or guilty. (Dying Matters Talking to Children About Dying Leaflet 5 2020).
Our Feelings Activity Book has been created to help children to identify their support networks and strengths as well as encouraging conversations around their feelings. These are all considered to be beneficial to building resilience (Mitchell 2015).
Most of the bereavement support sites listed above have books and many other resources available on their sites. There’s also a comprehensive children’s book list available from West Sussex Libraries.
Other book recommendations
Films are a gentle way to start conversations around difficult topics, some recommendations include: