Last weekend our charity launched a new downloadable resource to help military children make sense of their emotions during challenging life events that they often face. The ‘X-Ray of Feelings’ are a series of five beautifully illustrated pictures showing an X-Ray of a child’s body which undercovers some of the thoughts and feelings they might be experiencing.
Covering events such as when their parent is deployed, when they move home or when they start a new school the illustrations provide the perfect platform to talk to children. It uses child friendly discussion points like ‘my stomach feels like a stormy sea’, ‘my brain is full of questions’, ‘my heart feels loud’ or ‘my head hurts because I miss mummy / daddy so much’.
Louise, founder of Little Troopers, comments: “When military children are going through a tough time it can feel like they are the only one that feels that way and it can be really hard to articulate those feelings. The ‘X-Ray of Feelings’ are designed to break down that barrier. They reassure children that what they are experiencing is very normal for lots of little troopers just like them and it encourages them to identify with and talk about their emotions by describing physical feelings in their body.
“Being able to understand and talk openly about your emotions is essential to good mental health and wellbeing and it’s our hope that the ‘X-Ray of Feelings’ will help children to better explain how they feel both now, and in the future. The illustrations can be printed out and displayed in school or at home and we hope that parents and teachers find it useful to regularly refer to them when supporting military children through big life events. A special thank you to artist Lorna Stannard who drew these amazing illustrations.”
Each illustration is accompanied by an activity sheet that has been created by an educational psychologist. Parents, guardians or teachers can download the relevant scenario, talk through the illustration with the child and work through the activities. The five scenarios covered by the X-Ray of feelings illustrations are:
- Moving house
- Mummy/Daddy going away
- Mummy/Daddy coming home after deployment
- Starting a new school
- Making friends
The Little Troopers X-Ray of feelings will be added to the charity’s ‘At Home’ section on its website which is packed with lots of free resources to help forces families cope with separation and other challenges unique to military life. The charity’s other initiatives include a free birthday card scheme, a free story-recording app called Little Troopers Treasures and Crafty Little Troopers to help keep little ones busy. The charity also runs an ‘At School’ programme with unique resources to help teachers support military children in education.