Talking It Out About Feelings

Delivery Method: 

In this video, Ellymae and Garrison are having a discussion about an exchange that occurred on the playground. Ellymae is talking to Garrison about a name he called her when she tried to join him on a climbing structure. Their conversation goes as follows: Garrison: “Well we’re just being silly and just trying to call people that and just not and just not…” Perhaps Garrison was trying to say he had no malice toward Ellymae; he was just being silly. Ellymae: “You got to share this one.” She reminds Garrison about sharing the climber while they are outdoors. Teacher: "Look at Ellymae’s face. How do you think she’s feeling, Garrison? " By referring Garrison to Ellymae’s face, the teacher gives him a strategy that will increase his sensitivity to others’ feelings. Garrison: “Sad.” Teacher: “Yeah, I think her feelings are hurt. What can you say to her?” Garrison: “Sorry, Ellymae.” Ellymae: “Just tell me what I need.” Ellymae could be asking for something more specific than a general apology. It is interesting that she stays focused on the specific incidence rather than letting it spill over into diffuse emotions. Garrison: “Do you need anything?” Garrison does not quite know what to do after he has apologized, but realizes Ellymae wants something more. He does not resist this request, so he asks Ellymae for clarification. We admire the way both children “hang in there” to negotiate a resolution to hurt feelings. Ellymae responds by giving Harrison a hug, and they both go back to the climbing structure together. It was Ellymae who asked for some additional response, but she must have treated Garrison’s request for help as an indication that he truly cares for her. How sweet that she hugs him to indicate all is resolved. Note the relief on Garrison’s face as they move together toward the climber. Garrison: Calls out to his friend off camera, “Sam, Sam, let’s climb here again.” Then he climbs with Ellymae. Garrison senses that the coast is now clear for everyone, including his friend Sam, so he invites Sam to come climb as well. What are the children learning from this interaction? How would you describe the teacher’s role and strategies to support the children talking it out? What do you think Ellymae meant by, “Just tell me what I need”? Keywords: Fours, Child-Child, Outdoors, Conflict-Resolution, Communication Length of video: 59 seconds