Friday, July 11, 2014

Helping Girls Express Feelings

Helping Girls Express Feelings

How many times have you asked girl in your Troop, “What would you like to do this year?” and they say “I don’t know”? Or you ask them “How are you feeling,” and you get the standard “I’m Fine”?  As a Girl Scout Troop Leader, these responses can be frustrating. You want your Girl Scouts to do activities that they will love and enjoy and you want them to let you know if they are excited or looking forward to an activity or if they disliked an activity all together.

What are some ways to we can work towards getting more expressive answers? 

Try working with your girls on finding their words…   In her interview “How to Increase Emotional Intelligence,” Rachel Simmons suggests that we teach girls an emotional vocabulary with words like “excited,” “frustrated,” “encouraged,” “concerned,” “disappointed,” “lonely,” etc.  Encourage girls to keep a diary, through writing or pictures, of their feelings each day.  Help them figure out which feelings words might be the best to describe their writing or picture entry.  In the Be My Best Self Badge for Brownies, girls keep a record of their feelings for an entire week.  For older girls, you might even want to teach them how to use I-Statements, which can be found in the Cadette aMAZE Journey book, to express their feelings to others. 

Want to try something else with your girls?  Play mix ‘n match with feelings words and the Girl Scout Law.  Write each feeling and each line of the law on a separate index card and put the feelings cards in one pile, the Law cards in another.  Have each girl pick 1 card from each deck.  Think about ways the feeling connects to the line of the Law.  For example, if a girl pulled the “anxious” card, and she also chose “Courageous and Strong,” she might say that she is courageous and strong if she overcomes anxiety about standing up to a friend.

By working with girls and encouraging them to express their true feelings, we are helping build the leaders of tomorrow.

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