Answering kids’ questions about emotions
This interview is from A Kids Book About: The Podcast. Cyla of She sounds Like Me podcast interviews author of A Kids Book About Emotions, Nakita Simpson. It has been edited for clarity.
So today I thought I’d bring you a conversation about emotions from two of my favorite folx to listen to talk about emotions: Cyla and Nakita. Cyla is the co-host of the She Sounds Like Me podcast and she’s also an important voice on It’s OK To Ask, our advice podcast. Nakita Simpson is the author of A Kids Book About Emotions and is the co-host of Everyday Feels, one of my absolute favorite podcasts we make.
Cyla asks Nakita about emotions and feelings. And Nakita asks back, which I think is just the best way to explore emotions: together.
Let’s get into it! Here’s Cyla and Nikita.
So why is talking about emotions hard for everyone?
I'm so glad you added the everyone because some days talking about emotions is pretty tough for [everyone]. I think it's hard. I think it's hard because it's kind of like how we're trying to figure ourselves out. Maybe we don't always have the right words or even the right tools to understand how we're feeling.
Maybe we're a bit of a jumbled ball of yarn of feelings, and we're trying to unwind and understand why our emotions are the way that they are. And that makes it pretty hard. And sometimes it's even hard to get into a space to talk about what's going on inside with someone that you trust. There's so many reasons why it's hard, right?
A big ball of yarn is a great way to put it. I love that idea. Thank you. What if we don't like our emotions? What are some ways we can change that feeling?
There's a couple of different ways that we can change that feeling if it's not pleasant. I try to ask myself questions that help me understand the emotion, a lot of “what” questions.
What am I feeling? What is causing this? Or even some “why” questions? Like, why do I feel this way when this happens? Or why is it so hard for me to talk about it? And when I do get the chance to talk to someone that I trust or to myself, I try to find ways to make that emotion feel a little smaller. Maybe I'll give myself some time-out time.
Maybe I will try to use some different techniques, like drawing it out or painting it out if I don't like that feeling. But there's so many different ways to do it. Those are just a few.
Yes. It's sort of like having a big cake layered with emotions in it, and it's really hard to, like, take your emotions and bite them down at once and bite that cake at once in one big bite. You just need to think and relax and breathe.
And maybe that cake won't seem that big anymore, and the cake will get smaller and not be… WAHHH!
That is a beautiful metaphor, Cyla. I think that’s perfect.
Speaking of art, how you said art—like painting and drawing out your emotions—can help. What are some other ways art can help you shape your emotions?
Art can help you shape your emotions by giving you a tool to express how you feel.
Maybe it's getting messy on a big canvas, or maybe it's taking some silly putty or some clay and smushing it down to just a weird shape. It really helps give us a tool and an outlet to understand how we feel or even just giving us a place to express how we feel. Yes.
And speaking of art, what's your favorite color?
Oh—this is such a hard question. I love so many colors. Ah. Okay. Since I was young, it's always been pink and then red, and then I love a deep, Royal blue. I love turquoise. And I love a really nice golden yellow. Those are my favorite colors. Wow.
I really loved talking with you. And I am super glad we got to finally meet each other.
Thank you. I loved, loved listening to your beautiful metaphors. I loved your questions and I love your cover. I thought it was so beautiful. It's so great. I hope you send [it to] me if you can.
Any other pages that you color? I would love to see them.
Each week on A Kids Book About: The Podcast, we talk about the big things going on in your world with a different author from our A Kids Book About series. Nakita Simpson, the author of A Kids Book About Emotions, was interviewed by Cyla, an important voice on the It’s OK To Ask and She Sounds Like Me podcasts.