We are trying to verbally communicate when something makes us happy, sad or mad. Not only when WE are feeling this way, but when we may have caused SOMEONE ELSE to feel these emotions as well.
This has tied in perfectly with what Rainy and Zeke have been learning in their classes at Journey about respect.
And, consequently, I've been reading The Five Love Languages Of Children, which gave me an idea.
We needed a visual tool to help us communicate all of these feelings. Something hands-on. Something to wrap all these things together.
So I made this!
I just used things I already had around the house so I didn't have to buy anything.
printed photos from your computer
some type of clips
I decided to stick to the 5 main ways we speak love.
Then I printed 3 or 4 small photos that depict each action,
reinforcing the paper with tape,
and then clipping them on the string.
Then I printed a larger photo for each of the members in The Colony.
Each photo has a string with a few clips on them.
The idea is three-fold
1 - It helps us to be more aware of our own feelings.
2 - It helps us to be more aware of other's feelings.
3 - It acts as a tool to work through conflict.
Here are a couple of scenarios of how it could work.
a) Let's say I wake up very anxious. I'm not sure what the trigger is, but I am in desperate need of cooperation from the kids and sweet words. I can walk over to my photo and take one of the "Acts Of Service" photos as well as a "Words Of Affirmation" photo and put them on my string while I explain to the kids about how I am feeling inside and how they can best speak their love to me.
b) Maybe Cai is sitting alone because nobody will play with him and Areyna picks up on how sad he is. She can then come tell me what she is observing and we can move the "Quality Time" photo to Cai's string to allow everyone in the family to know that Cai could use a little quality time from all of us.
c) Zeke loves to make things for people. Let's say he drew Alethia a picture. Alethia received it with an "I no want it" while crumpling it up and throwing it on the ground. That would most likely create some tention;) I would bring them both over to this tool to talk about how Zeke was showing love by giving a "Gift" to Alethia and how she didn't show love or respect back by her actions. This would open up conversation about the better response as well as helping Zeke to see some other ways to show Alethia that he loves her.
I can already tell that Areyna loves to use this! It's still a little advanced for Alethia and Micaiah, but it at least opens up the door to discuss love, respect and the feelings that surround their little lives.