Felix After the Rain can assist children to catch their feelings as early as possible!
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It’s wonderful to have insight into Felix After the Rain, from an expert in the field. Shelley Smith, psychotherapist and founder of Sunrise Wellbeing, provides emotional support for young people, through counselling and psychotherapy. She has over 20 years’ of valuable experience of working in education, including delivering training to teachers and early years practitioners.
Read Shelley’s thoughtful review below.
Within my work as a psychotherapist working with children, I cannot shout loudly enough about the wonderful benefits of Felix After the Rain to support emotional literacy. Life can be tricky sometimes at any age and throw really difficult things at us. During this time, we can feel consumed with overwhelming feelings that we do not understand and cannot control. This book helps children to understand that keeping their feelings hidden can lead to them feeling worse but that letting them out can help them to feel better, calmer and supported.
I use this book to firstly identify different emotions and name the feelings using our Mood Stars or Emoji picture cards. This then allows us to explore what makes the child feel unhappy, sad or worried. We talk though what we think is in Felix’s suitcase based on the story and what is in there’s. Visual worry cards, pictures and objects, such as an actual suitcase help children to express their own feelings – what they can control and what they can’t.
Felix helps to normalise that all emotions are valid and are absolutely normal when we experience difficulty or a bereavement. The beautiful illustrations validate that sometimes big, difficult feelings can feel like a big black sky is following us around. Secondly this story supports children to understand the physical sensations in the body and how emotions are released (‘a rumble in his head or tears running down his cheeks’) and this is the starting point to supporting self-regulation, assisting children to catch their feelings as early as possible.
This story shows the importance of providing an outlet for talking about our feelings and letting some of those emotions go. Using calm down cubes along with mindfulness can give children their own emotional toolkit of tips and tricks to use. The beautiful picture of Felix swimming encourages children to visualise their own safe space that brings relaxation and a sense of calm. The picture of Felix being comforted by a hug also helps to highlight to the child who their trusted adults or friends are who can support them in times of need.
Finally teaching children to be kind to themselves is a wonderful life skill, having the words of a compassionate other in mind such as Grandma’s comforting saying or children creating their own affirmation or quote can support children to develop ways to self-soothe when feeling anxious, scared, worried or angry. So many imaginative activities can be developed and adapted to different ages from this book. Reading and looking at emotion books together in a warm, nurturing environment can also help to build trust and a secure relationship, enabling children to be heard, feel supported and to flourish.
- Upcoming Tiny Owl book wins a PEN Translates Award!
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