This week we learned one strategy for communicating our feelings and needs with others. This strategy is called an "I-feel Message". The Kindergarteners practiced "building" "I-feel" messages this week using Lego blocks with words and pictures. The first step in building one of these messages is taking a deep breath and calming down if we are angry or upset.
The second step is determining if an "I-feel" message is appropriate for the situation. Usually we can tell if an "I-feel" message is appropriate by the way we feel. If we are unsafe, scared, tearful or too mad, an "I-feel" message may not be strong enough and help from a teacher or parent is necessary. However, if we are frustrated, annoyed or a little sad/angry, an "I-feel" message may be able to help solve the problem.
As we build these "I-feel" messages, we must answer 3 questions. The first question is: How am I feeling? The second questions is: "What happened that made me feel this way?" The third question is: "What could I ask the person to do to make this better for me?" For example, "I feel angry when you jump in front of me in line. I want you to please step back behind me."
Our kindergarten students were very good at "building" these messages using pretend situations in class. Some students even reported that they had success trying this strategy in a real life situation with a friend. Here is an article that talks about "I-feel" messages and other ideas for helping your child or children resolve conflicts.