Ever wonder what’s going on inside someone’s head? All. Day. Long. This year has been exciting for our six year old daughter. She became a big sister and graduated from kindergarten. She currently loves to play outside, swim and run through sprinklers, read, make crafts, and go to summer camp. She is most excited for a new summer camp with a best friend next week and our upcoming summer vacation. With all this excitement, she is also able to deliver some fierce emotions regarding her dislikes. She does not like waiting for me to take care of her baby sister each time we plan a fun activity, or cleaning her room, or vegetables with dinner. She can go from the sweetest happiest girl to yelling at me in seconds. What is going on inside her head? Watching Inside Out was a fun look at how emotions work together. My daughter and I were invited to see it several weeks ago and then watched it again the day it was released in theaters. This one is definitely not just for the kids; every parent can learn from this movie too. My daughter’s new Inside Out feelings journal has been a great tool to help her express feelings, ranging from happy to sad, when she is frustrated.
A few months ago, long before we ever saw the Inside Out movie, my husband and I changed our approach to time outs. Instead of sending our daughter to her room as a consequence for a negative attitude, we started asking her to write how she was feeling in a journal. I expected to read a description of why she was feeling angry or sad. The first time we asked her to write down her feelings she returned the journal with exactly that, feelings, not a story. Mad, bored, sad, and not happy made frequent appearances in her journal. But what stood out the most was the day she wrote, “like I’m not special”. Having her write down her feelings instead of simply sitting angrily in her bedroom helped us understand how she felt.
Inside Out taught us that sometimes feelings don’t quite know how to handle situations, just like when my daughter expresses her frustration by saying or doing things unintentionally. She related to each character and after the movie we talked about different times each emotion made her behave a particular way. It was much easier for her to talk about feelings when thinking about the characters from the movie. Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear, and Sadness slowly became part of her journal entries. Instead of having her write in a blank journal, I made her a printable Inside Out feelings journal.
We are still having her write how she feels instead of sending her to time out as a negative behavior consequence. But now she asks to write in her journal on her own too. It’s important for her to express when she is feeling happy too. She has always been appreciative and polite but I feel recognizing when she is happy is helping her learn about herself too.
Yesterday she was joyful because we saw Inside Out again in the theater. I’m sure we will see another Inside Out feelings journal entry about Joy when we bring her dad to see the movie with us too.
Inside Out is now in theaters and is our very favorite summer movie. Do you have plans to see it with your children? This movie also makes a great adult date night and truly will change the way you wonder what is going on inside your child’s head.
Print the free Inside Out feelings journal to help your child express their feelings.
For more Disney writing activities, see my free printable Finding Dory writing prompt.