Acting: Inside – Outside

This discussion can help your child appreciate that there is a difference between having feelings and showing feelings. It gets right to the heart of children’s constant struggle between belonging and being special.

  • Notice characters in books or videos. What do you think that character might be feeling?
  • What clues are you using? Get them to notice, not just facial expressions, but body language.
  • If someone feels happy, show me how they might show they are happy. Sad. Tired. Frustrated. Scared. Lonely.
  • Join in.
  • Then – try combinations. If someone was happy and tired …..? Angry but in a hurry? Take turns making up combinations the other has to do. Get silly.
  • Can you think of times that someone might choose to act happy even if they weren’t?
  • Share some personal stories from when you were a child when you didn’t want others to know what you were really feeling.
  • Why might people not want to share their real feelings? Have you ever been nervous but tried to hide it? (An obvious example is the pressure kids feel NOT to cry.)
  • Being a friend sometimes means that we focus on harmony rather than on differences.
  • Share a story or two about times when you chose to hold your real feelings til the time was right.
  • Being able to pretend or delay can be one way of showing love. Of keeping the focus on your friend for a while rather than on you.
  • Can you think of times when it is important NOT to hide your real feelings? Talk about times when you took a stand and told someone what you really felt in the moment even though it was difficult to do.