Themes

EMOTION AND PLAY

Emotion, long dismissed as a nuisance factor, is now confirmed to be at the core of development and well-being. Yet little is being taught about the nature of emotion or the implications for parenting, teaching, and treatment. To make sense of emotion is to make sense of us all. There is no better way to glean insight into oneself and others than through a working knowledge of the science of emotion. Play - at least the kind that builds brains, forwards development, and serves our emotions - is becoming an endangered activity among those who need to engage in it most and this includes us as adults. The delicate and intricate relationship between play and emotion is key to making sense of human nature, the unfolding of human potential, culture, behaviour problems, emotional disturbance, and much more. 

WEBINAR: Emotional World

CLICK HERE to play recording

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Emotional World

 Presentation Handout

CLICK HERE to download this document in pdf format

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WEBINAR: Why Play Matters

CLICK HERE to play recording

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Why Play Matters

 Presentation Handout

CLICK HERE to download this document in pdf format

EMOTIONAL RELEASE ACTIVITIES

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​* Please consult EMOTIONS MATERIAL section to check out additional resources, such as video capsules and downloadable documents

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Webinar Panel on Emotional Health and School

Eva de Gosztonyi, Tamara Strijack, Deborah MacNamara, Hannah Beach

Neufeld Institute Webinar Panel on Emotional Health and School, with Tamara Strijack, Deborah MacNamara, Eva de Gosztonyi and Hannah Beach.

Join the Leadership Team from the IDEA Centre for Educators as they discuss Emotional Health and School (ideacentreforeducators.org/)

To view recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTfjpf1BG2M

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Webinar: Creating Playgrounds for Emotional Expression

Tamara Strijack and Hannah Beach

When emotions stop moving, we start to see the signs of problem behaviour. Expression of emotion is the first step in emotional development, and yet many children, adolescents and adults can get stuck here. We all need safe places to express the emotions that are stirred up within us, as well as release pent up emotional energy. The challenge is finding those safe places. In this session, we will explore natural playgrounds for emotion to come out and play, and how we might facilitate this process - for our children, our adolescents and ourselves.

To view recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNJUA9dU-AI

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Webinar: The Power of Play to Take Care of Us 

Deborah MacNamara

In this webinar, Neufeld Institute faculty member Deborah MacNamara PhD talks about why play--for children and adults alike--is critical to our survival in times of stress. Dr. MacNamara explores why it is in our nature to play, how play can heal and restore us, and why we will need to lean on play more than ever in the days and weeks to come.

To view recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAF0l5HXuDM

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Kids Need a Safe Space to Feel

Hannah Beach

Our kids are experiencing an emotional crisis. Children are more anxious, aggressive, and shut down than ever. We are seeing clear evidence of this in our schools, our homes, our neighbourhoods and our community spaces. The situation has become so dire that our newspapers are literally writing stories about elementary school-aged children punching, kicking and biting their teachers. 

To read more: https://www.cebm.ca/post/kids-need-a-safe-space-to-feel

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Five Things You Might Not Know About Human Emotion

Hannah Beach

Humans are some of the most complex emotional creatures on earth. From our teenagers who roll their eyes in disdain to our toddlers who cry in frustration – raising kids has few emotional dull moments. What are we supposed to do with their emotions? Why are they so emotional in the first place?

To read more: https://www.cebm.ca/post/five-things-you-might-not-know-about-human-emotion

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As Children Head Back Into Classrooms, Teachers Will Need To Focus On Emotions, Not Academics

Hannah Beach

As schools begin welcoming students back to classrooms, their teachers will be tasked with not only getting them back on-track academically—but also helping them manage the psychological impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. And that emotional support must take precedence over any focus on grades. Schools are going to need to change the focus right now to concentrating on the emotionalbasics before academic basics.

To read more: https://www.cebm.ca/post/as-children-head-back-into-classrooms-teachers-will-need-to-focus-on-emotions-not-academics

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Freedom of Expression: Guiding kids’ emotions into maturity

Deborah MacNamara

It is not unusual to see a child stomp in frustration, yell when they’re upset, and drag their heels when they feel hurried. Even after a good or uneventful day at daycare or school, meltdowns may appear later at home in the form of resistance over chores or homework. Parents may feel bewildered by the extreme emotional reactions they witness in their kids—after all, haven’t they been told a hundred times to use their words and communicate clearly to get what they want?

 

To read more: http://macnamara.ca/portfolio/freedom-of-expression-guiding-kids-emotions-into-maturity/

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I am not a Drama Queen – Why we cry over small things

Hannah Beach

Yesterday as I was walking up the stairs to my front door, I saw a little yellow finch, dead and laying by my doormat. It wasn’t ruffled or bruised. It simply looked like it was peacefully sleeping. It was just too much. My eyes welled up and down came the tears. We are in the midst of a pandemic.  I am constantly hearing from overwhelmed parents and educators and I am trying to support them the best I can.

 

To read more: https://www.cebm.ca/post/i-am-not-a-drama-queen-why-we-cry-over-small-things

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Room Required – Feelings Getting too Big

Hannah Beach

My elderly parents are currently clearing out their house and, in the process, they found an old Creative Writing scribbler of mine from grade 7. This week I sat down and re-visited my 12-year-old self. What a gift it was to read back through my thoughts, feelings and stories from that age. 

 

To read more: https://www.cebm.ca/post/room-required-feelings-getting-too-big

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True Play: Why Kids Need Play Sanctuaries for Their Emotions

Deborah MacNamara

Play is not urgent. It will not wake a child up in the middle of the night like a bad dream or a bladder in need of release. Play isn’t something that hijacks a child’s attention like an empty stomach in need of food or an injury in need of first aid. While the instinct to play is inherent to all mammal species, it isn’t bossy nor does it demand the space it requires.

 

To read more: https://www.cebm.ca/post/true-play-why-kids-need-play-sanctuaries-for-their-emotions

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Kids are playing “coronavirus tag.” Should we be worried?

Hannah Beach

Like many of us, my family recently learned that my son’s school would be shut down due to the coronavirus epidemic. On his last day of school before the shut down, we were chatting, when he casually told me he had been playing “coronavirus tag” with his friends at lunch!  Initially, I was mortified. My first thought was “Yikes! That is really insensitive!”

 

To read more: https://www.cebm.ca/post/kids-are-playing-coronavirus-tag-should-we-be-worried

Hannah Beach

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