I wish the Mood Meter was available when I was raising my kids.
It would have given me a wonderful tool to help them better manage their worries, fears and anxieties. Importantly, they would have carried the insights and skills they gained using the Mood Meter into adulthood to assist with their wellbeing and overall effectiveness.
I also think it would have made me a more relaxed, less tense parent as it would have given me a better insight into my own emotions. If we want our kids to be emotionally smart then 'we must go first.'
So in the spirit of sharing here are seven reasons why I sincerely believe you should add the Mood Meter to your parenting repertoire:
1. It builds the language of emotions
The Mood Meter give parents and kids a common language to talk about feelings and emotions. Language enables change and development to happen. The broader a child's emotional vocabulary the more able they are to regulate their emotions. "I feel Crap!" gives no information to a child. They'll be stuck there. However if they say, "I feel agitated!" - they have some understanding and can shift their state.
2. It's boy-friendly
It's visual by nature so after a while you begin to picture how events make you feel. Boys in particular need help developing their emotional awareness. Visual tools such as the Mood Meter are great for boys who are more likely to be visual learners than girls. It plays to the learning strengths and needs of boys.
3. It helps to recognise feelings
It helps kids/people accurately recognise how they feel about things. Often kids confuse sadness with anger. Many kids commonly react to situations through anger, but really the event may make them feel sad, or even fearful.
4. It helps manage multiple emotions
The Mood Meter helps kids identify multiple emotions. We often feel more than one emotion at a time. For example, you may feel happy your team won a game, but a little sad that this was at the expense of a best friend's team. The Mood Meter helps kids access multiple emotions, so it is a tool that helps us recognise and manage the complexity of our emotional states.
5. It helps kids overcome their fears and anxieties
It helps kids prepare for tricky situations both mentally and psychologically. If a child has a speech coming up he can prepare for this by recognising the state he needs to be in. If he wants to write a protest letter then he can get a little angry. A quiet reflective piece...then he needs to get in the right mood. The Mood Meter teaches kids how to change their emotional states.
6. It helps kids understand their emotions
Many kids think of emotions as on/off. That is, they are either sad or happy. The Mood Meter teaches kids to think in terms of shifting emotional state gradually or even quickly. It has helped me shift my feelings rather than have them swing wildly. They will learn that they can live with negative emotion as they know that they won't stay.
7. It puts kids in control
The Mood Meter puts kids in control of their emotions. So much anxiousness comes from lack of control over their feelings. When they know they can control or at the very least influence how they feel and how they can respond then they begin to be in the driver's seat of their emotional state.
8. It helps parents stay calm and be happier
The hardest part of parenting is to avoid being caught in emotional roller coasters as a result not just of your kids' behaviour but due to all the other activities you have to do to get through the day. The Mood Meter will help you access your emotional state so you can be more in control and your mood won't dictate your parenting.
Emotional intelligence is the new frontier of parenting. Giving our kids the tools they need to recognise and regulate their emotional states will help them be more effective, happier and enjoy better well-being.
For ideas, advice and parenting courses to help you be the best parent you can be visit parentingideasclub.com.au. Our next course is starting soon.
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