Get this great product here: My Feelings Box by Feelings Magnets
My almost eight year old daughter is extremely sensitive and lately has been having some emotional difficulties at school and with some of her other activities. I’ve been trying to figure out ways to help her through all of this, so when I saw the My Feelings Box, I was really intrigued and wondered if this might help her to express what is bothering her.
The box itself is a fairly simple concept. There is a sturdy metal hinged box, and all the surfaces (inside and out) of the box are magnetic. Inside the box are the sets of magnets that are the key to how this works. First of all, on the inside of the lid are three key magnets, already put in place. There are two with text that read “I am feeling…” and “I want to feel…” and an image of a thermometer. The rest of the magnets each have individual emotions on it, and are color coded by classes of emotions: yellow for happy, blue for sad, green for disgust, red for anger, and orange for shame. There is a really nice range of detailed emotions here, so you can really get specific about how you’re feeling. The idea is that you can use the “I am feeling…” and “I want to feel…” labels to list emotions related to certain topics, and the thermometer one to show how strong those emotions are.
I broke apart the emotion magnets on my own and then showed it all to my daughter. We read through all the emotions together (some of them are words that are a bit hard for a 2nd grader to read) and then I suggested that we use them to think through some of what’s going on right now with her. She loves playing the drums, but lately has been getting frustrated as she’s getting into more and more advanced things to practice, so I asked her to think about what emotions relate to drumming for her. We talked through it all and I think listing the emotions gave us a really good chance to have an in depth conversation, while emphasizing that it is fine to feel any emotion, that emotions themselves cannot be bad, and that the good or bad comes in how we choose to respond to those feelings. She really enjoyed this process and we also related it to the movie Inside Out, which also gave a good chance for discussion of emotions.
As my daughter and I kept talking, I asked if she’d be interested in having me use the magnets to describe my own feelings, and she really liked that idea. So I decided to use the My Feelings Box to look at how I feel about my work. I have to admit that this was a somewhat enlightening process even for my as an adult, thinking through really what all my motivations and stresses are in the workplace. What I think was even more valuable though, was giving my daughter the chance to see that even I struggle with things like frustration and can feel overwhelmed. Realizing that she is not alone in emotions like this I think was really comforting to her.
We’ve gone through a couple more topics together, trying to figure out her feelings about some issues at school, and then how to respond to those feelings to try to help move towards the “I want to feel…” side. It’s not an easy thing to face fears and such, but I do feel that the My Feelings Box has given us a useful tool to get started in the process. In fact, I don’t think I can say it any better than my daughter did, when she said, “Sometimes it can be hard to say what you’re feeling, but this helps to get it out”.
I have to say that while I’m really pleased with this so far for my daughter, it does seem surprisingly expensive for what is essentially a box with a set of word magnets ($42 as of when I’m doing this review). I’m looking forward to continuing to work with this with my daughter to help her through all the ups and downs that come with her sensitive mind.