Activities Teaching Feelings Improve Behavior

Helping students understand and express feelings improves their behavior.  This behavioral improvement appears related to the neuropsychological processes of self-control (from the frontal cortex) and communicating feelings (between the brain hemispheres).  Positive behavioral support activities promote self-control through the Turtle technique, Simon Says, Freeze dance, and similar strategies that teach and reward movement self-control.

Communicating feelings is taught with pictures of feelings, feeling wheels, environmental and body triggers, coping strategies, distinguishing feelings from behaviors, and anger meters.  These strategies help regular and special education students understand and express their feelings in developmentally appropriate ways through art activities.

Angercartoon  ComicCoping Triggers MadvsKick

AngerMeter

The FAB Switch hands toss strategies provides movement activities that involve self-control and the verbal expression of feelings for children and adolescents with behavioral, developmental, sensory processing, and/or trauma challenges.  The FAB Switch hands toss strategies combine passing a beanbag with the verbal expression of preferences, feelings, values, and choices.  Building on Positive Behavioral Support activities that teach emotions and express feelings, It involves fun movement that can be done individually with students and in groups.  Both the beanbag pass progression and expression of feeling can be developmentally individualized to promote developmental, social, and verbal skills.

The FAB switch hands toss strategies let kids who don’t like being still actively practice emotional awareness and expressing feelings in a fun way.  They can be easily graded by selecting the specific strategies at the client or groups level.  FAB switch hands toss strategies can address the verbal expression of: favorites (e.g., color, team, quality in a friend), best coping strategy, guessing the feeling or degree of feeling expressed by the therapist or peers, right now I feel _____, and I messages (e.g., when you yell at me, I feel sad, so please speak to me politely). The FAB switch hands toss strategies are a fun addition to Positive Behavioral Support activities to improve emotional awareness and the verbal expression of feeliings.

References:

Bengtsson, S.L., Nagy, Z., Skare, S., Forsman, L., Forssberg, H., Ullen, F. (2005).  Extensive piano practicing has regionally specific effects on white matter development.  Nature Neuroscience, 8, 1148-1150.

Lieberman, M.D. (2009).  The brain’s braking system (and how to ‘use your words’ to tap into it).  Neuroleadership Journal, 2, 9-14.

Miller, A.L., Rathus, J.H., & Linehan, M.M. (2007).  Dialectical behavior therapy with suicidal adolescents.  NY, NY: The Guilford Press.

Riggs, N.R., Greenberg, M.T., Kusche, C.A., Pentz, M.A. (2006).  The mediational role of neurocognition in the behavioral outcomes of a social-emotional prevention program in elementary school students: Effects of the PATHS curriculum.   Prevention Science, 7(1), 91-102.

Sun, F.T., Miller, L.M., Rao,  A.A., Esposito, M.D. (2007).  Functional connectivity of cortical networks involved in bimanual motor sequence learning.  Cerebral Cortex, 17(5), 1227-1234.

Suveg, C., Southam-Gerow, M. A., Goodman, K. L. & Kendall, P. C. (2007).  The role of emotion theory and research in child therapy development.  Clinical Psychology: Science and   Practice, 14(4), 358-371.

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