Tomorrow the kids will have their first Soul Shoppe workshop, as part of our efforts to decrease isolation and build community. These workshops are interactive and help the students develop empathy to build a culture of compassion and inclusion where they all help each other be their best selves. Soul Shoppe is a wonderful organization that has been doing this work for years. Here is their description of tomorrow's workshop. Please feel free to share any feedback you have with me afterwards. As we plan future events it's important to know what is most useful to our community.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Welcome to Soul Shoppe! We’re looking forward to supporting your children in their friendships, school life and social-emotional development this year.
Our workshops are fun and interactive, weaving life skills and tools through stories that look like
common “real-life” challenges and experiences. In their first workshop, “Check In: Empty Your Balloon,” we’ll work on developing emotional self-awareness (the ability to know and say how you’re feeling and what you need) and self-management skills (the ability to regulate your emotions, know when you need help and know who to ask for it) .
Here is the language we’ll be introducing, which we encourage you to use at home with your kids!
● Feeling Buzzes: The way we feel when we begin to notice activation, stress, or worry in our bodies. Children will learn to identify the different body feelings that signal to them it’s time to
Check-In and consider what needs they might have.
● The Balloon: That place inside us all where feelings build up when we don’t get our needs met or
when challenges arise and we don’t know what to do.
● Leaking/Emptying the Balloon: When we take care of our feelings (by talking to a friend, playing a game, listening to music, etc.) we empty our balloons. When we don’t empty, we often take our feelings out on those around us (leaking- through behavior, tattling, not sharing, getting
●Checking In: The practice of stopping and noticing what feelings are in our balloons and what needs we have.
Please ask your kids what they learned at Soul Shoppe, ask them to explain the balloon to you, and talk to them about how you can use the tools as a family! Together, you can name all of your favorite ways to empty your balloons--talking to friends, going for a walk, playing with a pet, crying, hugging, etc. Try modeling for your kids when your balloon is full by talking about what feelings are in your balloon and emptying it- it’s so helpful for children to see adults around them model how to empty their balloons.
We look forward to serving your children and your school this year.
The Soul Shoppe Workshops Team