Helping Children Process and Talk About Feelings  

Posted by on Apr 15, 2021 in News | 0 comments

Hathaway-Sycamores Maria Baghasarian Hathaway-Sycamores Clinician Maria Baghasarian firmly believes that teaching children to understand, communicate and manage their emotions is one of the most important things we can do to give our children a healthy start in life. When war broke out in Armenia last year, there was tremendous pain and sorrow in the local Armenian community. In an effort to give the Armenian students she works with the tools to process the emotions they were experiencing, Maria looked for children’s books that would help the children to identify and talk about feelings in their native language. Her search came up empty. Initially Maria was shocked, but when she thought about it, she was not really surprised. She attributes the absence of resources to a general lack of willingness in the Armenian culture to discuss feelings and emotions. According to Maria, “Emotions and therapy are very stigmatized in our culture – and for many, seeking therapy is a sign of weakness.”

The strong desire to help her community motivated Maria to fill the void and to write an Armenian feelings book for kids. The focus of the book, How Are You Feeling Today?, is to teach feeling words in both Armenian and English to 3- to 8-year-olds, with the goal to help families discuss feelings with their children. It started as an e-book project for one of Maria’s classes in her doctoral program, but she soon realized that more children in the community would benefit from hard copies of the book. The book is now available for purchase in both Eastern and Western Armenian dialects. Beautifully illustrated by Maria’s sister, Angelina Baghasarian, the book celebrates the Armenian culture and is filled with prompts to encourage the readers to discuss how they experience feelings and emotions. Click here to learn more or to order copies of “How Are You Feeling Today?”

In honor of Armenian History Month, Maria is donating a portion of all sales made this April to the Armenian Relief Society.

Maria Baghasarian is a Clinician in Hathaway-Sycamores School-Based Services Program.

 

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