Posted by: coachingparents | October 30, 2009

How Children Can Express Painful or Blocked Emotions

Emotions that are blocked or not understood are stressful and confusing to parents and to children. Bottled up emotions need an outlet for expression, a way to get what’s on the inside to the outside. One delightful strategy to help children deal with feelings of loss, grief, or pain is to color away their pain and give words to the feelings, as through the coloring book series called What Happened to Me? A Listen to My Story Coloring Book.

Coloring away pain is the wondrous inspiration of author Kimberly Pressley-Herrick, the Executive Director of The Foundation for Coloring Away Pain. The coloring books for children are specific to the natural disasters like fire or hurricanes or traumatic situations like dealing with divorce or loss.  The stories with animal characters provide a fun, less personal voice with which children identify. Parents are at a loss for words and often overwhelmed themselves when faced with disastrous events. Each coloring book shares the conversation between characters, helping parents with words, identifying feelings and opening the door for deeper conversations. The need for this important and necessary product is also supported in research on trauma recovery. The logical, left-brain is triggered when a person tells the story, and the body relives the stress associated with the story. To balance the stress, research suggests that the storyteller also draw, doodle, or in this case, color pictured and talk. The coloring and drawing activate the right brain imaging which provides balance to the stress. This creative, playful approach to helping children find emotional relief provides a compassionate effort to help the bonding between parent and child once again. (



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