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Children & Feelings

posted May 9, 2017, 6:36 AM by Christine Roman   [ updated May 9, 2017, 6:37 AM ]

May 5, 2017


Dear Parents and Guardians,


I have been reflecting and reading about the topic of children and feelings.  Earlier this year, I wrote about children who struggle with anxiety and some resources I had obtained through Lynn Lyons, LICSW and Reid Wilson, PhD.  In looking through my files, I came across notes from a bullying conference I went to a couple of years ago.  I thought I would share some of the information from this conference.


Top 5 things that children are afraid of: 

  1. Loss of parents (through death, divorce, deployment)
  2. Being embarrassed in front of friends
  3. A disability will be noticed (can be a physical, educational or emotional disability)
  4. Violence (domestic, on the streets, and terrorist attacks)
  5. Being poor or homeless

The average NH household has the television on for eight hours a day, but household members spend just eight minutes in conversations with family members.  That doesn’t leave a lot of time to talk to our children about their fears and feelings.  Some children are very good about initiating conversations about how they’re feeling, but others need trusted adults to open a dialogue about their emotions.  Unfortunately, some children’s fears give rise to anger which can lead to inappropriate behavior, including bullying and school violence.


Dr. Malcom Smith, UNH professor of Family Studies, and founder of Courage to Care suggests that parents turn off the TV, sit down for dinner and open conversation at the table.  Or if that is not the best time, a drive in the car may be another opportunity to converse.  Smith recommends starting the conversation with one of two leading statements and not the typical question, “How was school today?”

  1. Name one good thing that happened at school today.
  2. Name one bad thing that happened at school today.

By talking with children more and listening intently to them, parents will learn about not only what happened at school, but how they’re feeling.


I hope this information was helpful…have a great weekend!