Over the next three months, students in Shaker’s First Class and in the PreK Early Intervention Program will learn how to express their feelings of frustration and anger with words, not actions, thanks to the anti-bullying program “My Mad Feelings.” The program, presented by Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development, is taught over the course of 12 sessions and involves small-group discussion, handouts for parents and ongoing reinforcement in school and at home.
My Mad Feelings was developed by Victoria Todd, a child and adult psychoanalyst who wanted to prevent bullying by working with children as young as four years old to understand their emotions and appropriately express themselves. "Parents want their children to be kind and well-liked. But it’s also important that they are able to stick up for themselves. Mad Feelings save us from those who wish to harm or take advantage of us,” says Ms. Todd. “Children who are not permitted to be mad are being set up to become victims. But children need help learning how to verbally express their mad feelings in an appropriate way.”
The program is designed to prevent bullying before it begins and teaches children to:
Become more tolerant of others;
Develop stronger relationships;
Enjoy the risks involved in learning new things and having new experiences;
Be viewed more positively by the adults who wield influence over life in school and other activities.
“The program is complementary to IB,” says Onaway Principal Eric Forman. “It allows our youngest students to begin to understand how they’re feeling and how to channel that into learning.” Learn more about My Mad Feelings online.