We adults know that we cannot have everything, on the time and in the way we want, but we still have our moments of frustration when we have not achieved something. If this is a complex feeling for us, imagine for the children.

Little by little they learn to deal with frustration, like when they have to wait their turn in the line or when we deny them a new toy. Talking about that feeling, like every other feeling, is important to broaden their understanding of what they’re feeling and why they’re feeling that way.

Movies, books, and music to help the child deal better with frustration:

Movie: Inside Out

The universe of emotions is the focus of this Disney animation that shows what feelings would be if they had a life of their own! It talks about the importance of fear, disgust, joy, sadness and anger. The anger, after all, comes when the little girl Riley is frustrated with the results of the change that is happening in her life. Ideal to watch with family. For smaller children, there is the book version, with illustrations and miniatures of the characters.

Book: Zach Gets Frustrated

Zach and his family go to the beach, but Zach is having a lousy day. First, he dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. Then his best friend went to someone else’s birthday party instead of joining him. But most frustrating of all, he can’t get his kite to fly! Zach kicks sand, yells angry words, and asks his dad if they can just go home now. Instead, his dad teaches him a simple, three-step approach to get a handle on frustration and find a way to enjoy himself even when things aren’t going his way: 1) name it (why are you frustrated?); 2) tame it (self-regulation exercises such as deep breathing or visualization); 3) reframe it (change your thoughts to change your feelings). The three-point strategy is presented as the three corners of a triangle and is illustrated as the corners of Zach’s kite. Easy to understand and easy to remember.

Music: Social Skills

In the classroom, the subject also deserves attention, after all, in group is that a lot of our personal conflicts and conflicts with others get more exposed. To explore the subject with the students, try to show the children the videos of this playlist and then ask if they have ever felt that way and how they solved it.


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