Setting up your feelings corner at home
Make sure you read THIS post about what a feelings corner is and why they’re amazing before diving into this one.
I’m so excited for you to create a feelings corner in your home! To recap: a feelings corner is to give your child a space to go to work through their big feelings independently while they wait for support from you.
First things first, make sure you do the setup while your child is feeling happy in the “green zone” (information on that here. No affiliation.). You do NOT want to create the feelings corner while they’re having big feelings. When you do it while they’re dis-regulated (aka in the middle of a meltdown), it isn’t able to be a tool.
Step 1: pick a location
With your child, help them pick a good place to create the feelings corner. Use these questions to guide you:
- Where does your child most often fall apart? In the playroom? While getting ready for school?
- Where is somewhere close to the location of the most meltdowns that a child could sit and there could be a bin of things nearby? It could be on the floor or in a cubby.
Step 2: helpful tools
Next, pick out the tools for the feelings corner:
- Together talk about what are good calm down tools — aka to help bring your child back to the “green zone.” Help your child pick out a few to have there. Maybe stuffed animals, a squishy, a favorite book, paper to draw.
- Which visual tools are helpful to your child? We liked to have a printout of the zones so that I could ask the kids “which zone are you in” and they could simply point.
- Together, create a list of words and additional tools your child can use to re regulate.
- When I feel ____ I can _____ to help me feel better.
- I can take 4 deep breaths
HOW TO USE IT
Once the feelings corner is all set up, practice using it a few times while your child is in the happy green zone. Talk through a frustrating situation they’ve experienced recently that’s been resolved and model how you’d use the feelings corner to work through it.
The next time your child has a hard time, help them use the feelings corner! It might look like this:
- Child starts to melt down
- Parent says, “I can tell you’re having big feelings. Do you remember how we set up the feelings corner? Let’s go let it help us through this.”
- **You know your child, so you know which words will trigger your child into bigger feelings. Use words that you know won’t spiral your child further.
- Ask your child if they want space or are ready for your help
- If they’re ready for help, talk it through with them
- If they want space, tell them you’ll give them space and check in when 5 minutes are up. You’re available if they’re ready before that.
This works because it puts the child in the driver’s seat of their feelings. They are responsible for their feelings, they are taking steps toward feeling content again. The more times your child practices the feelings corner, the quicker they’ll recover from their feelings. Eventually they might rarely use it because they’ll get comfortable and fluid working through their feelings in the midst of continuing to do life. This sets the foundation for a lifetime of identifying and working through challenges.
tell me how it goes!
I absolutely love hearing feedback and hearing how things work for you! I can’t wait to hear all your success stories from creating a feelings corner to your home. Tell me here.
PS are you tired of cleaning up after your kids? Take a look here to learn how to automate kids cleaning up their own toys and things.