Boy writing a note

Feeling Notes

September 10th, 2013

Feeling notes can be extremely powerful in helping your child work through feelings. Feeling notes are similar to adult journaling, where putting the feelings into words and putting the words to paper can be extremely cathartic and empowering. To be deeply heard and understood by an adult can help your child work through their frustration, anger, or sadness. It is helpful to write feeling notes in-the-moment of an angry conflict or a feelingful situation, but writing that note will be easier if you and your child have had some practice beforehand in writing notes in less intense, lower adrenaline, cooler moments. It is suggested that you choose a situation where there is some mild disappointment or frustration or sadness to begin the practice of feeling notes.

Suppose your child is disappointed because they didn’t get to see their dad as expected. You can talk about their feelings and suggest that you write their father a note.

Dear Dad,

I wanted to see you now. I am disappointed, very, very disappointed.” (Aside: “ How many ‘very’s should I use—one or two or three?”). I wanted to play with you for _____ minutes (Aside:“How many minutes?).  I miss you so, so, so much.” (Aside: “ How many ‘so’s’ should I use?”) I am feeling same/better/worse now (Ask in an aside which it is.) Love, (Aside: “How should we sign it?”)

Often the first feeling note or two can be the most challenging to write. After feeling notes become a part of your child’s repertoire, these notes can be very helpful in helping children process their intense feelings.

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