Psychology research suggests that children struggle to cope with the complex range of emotions they face today. Globally, experts have reported a decline in emotional intelligence (EQ) amongst children. This affects their capacity to work harder, resolve conflict, explore new activities and achieve more in life. Being unable to express their feelings results in a general lack of communication, poor discipline and frustration that manifests low self-esteem within both children and parents.
Cape Town-based child therapist and social worker, Shontell Fiet, created iFeel, a unique card game. She applied her knowledge and experience of play therapy to develop this support tool for people in need of a practical solution to help thier kids. It provides an environment where children are encouraged to identify, express and regulate their feelings (develop their EQ) more effectively.
“We live in a fast-paced, technology-driven, hyper-connected society,“ says Fiet. “Yet our children struggle to express their thoughts and feelings. Globally, there is a growing concern that children are not able to effectively understand and manage their own feelings… Let alone identify and sympathise with the feelings of others.”
iFeel includes a deck of 14 animal-themed cards. It promotes a fun and non-threatening context in which children can safely explore and express their feelings. Children from age four learn to identify and express their emotions through the power of projection.
The cards have facial expressions and visual clues that encourage the child to make their own interpretations. This means that there are no right or wrong answers. iFeel helps parents, teachers and therapists to understand the child’s experiences – both positive and negative. This in turn helps to address problem areas, improve social skills, memory, cognitive skills and vocabulary.
“Our ability to develop and maintain emotional intelligence is critical to the early childhood development stages. An emotionally intelligent person is more likely to achieve confidence and success than a person who simply has a high IQ. This supports the argument that we need to teach children to identify, acknowledge and regulate their feelings from a young age.”
iFeel provides an easy-to-use, affordable tool for parents, teachers and anyone actively involved with childhood development. “I believe children will learn to share their feelings properly, when they are confident that they will be heard in a safe, stimulating environment.”
For more information about the game visit iFeel’s Facebook page.