June 05, 2023

Calvin* - It's Ok to Feel

How our professional mentors promote self-awareness

Calvin* is a natural performer. He loves to act, sing, and dance. He has an active imagination and is very creative. He is also very caring and loves his sister Dana* very much.

Calvin is easily excited when he is doing something he loves and often does not know what to do with that energy. One day, his mother grew frustrated that he was yelling and screaming with excitement while playing a video game. Calvin ignored her when she asked him to use his inside voice.

Later that day, his Friend Aaron tried to address his behavior. He and Calvin's sister offered suggestions for how Calvin could have handled the situation differently, but Calvin felt like they were ganging up on him and shut down. Aaron respected Calvin's boundaries and gave him the space and time he needed to process what he'd been hearing.

A few days later, they read the book, “It’s Ok to Feel” together. Aaron asked Calvin about what he was feeling the other day and why he'd shut down during their conversation. Calvin expressed that he had been feeling frustrated, and angry, and sad. Then Calvin began to cry and Aaron told him, “It’s ok to cry” and hugged him.

Aaron apologized to Calvin for addressing his actions in front of Dana. They talked about how Calvin's mom was probably feeling frustrated and ignored, and how those are not fun feelings. Together they made a plan for how Calvin can celebrate his mom and make her feel heard and respected.

Calvin and Aaron’s story is just one example of how our Professional Mentors help our youth develop and nurture their self-awareness. Self-awareness is an essential life tool. When we know ourselves, we are more confident, creative, make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively. That is why Self-Awareness is one of our five focus areas for children in grades K-5.

Thanks to Aaron’s support, Calvin has the safe space he needs to feel and process his emotions. This will help Calvin know himself and stay true to his beliefs as he navigates through life.