When Big Feelings Happen


Poppy struggles with big feelings.

She often lets her worries build up and then they come out like an explosion.

Working with her family, she is learning to manage big feelings with strategies and tools to help her keep big feelings from being the boss of her.

Does this sound like you?

When Big Feelings Take over

Even with a lot of practice, sometimes the big feelings are hard to keep small.

Wendel and his Dad have been practicing, but the big feelings come and Wendel doesn’t think he can keep them small.

He needs Dad to stay calm, give him some space and validate his emotions.

Try Again

Sometimes, it doesn’t work out how they planned. They can always try again tomorrow.


When Poppy’s worries get big, it feels sometimes like she’s had too many carrots. Sometimes she even feels sick.

When Poppy is struggling with big feelings, and people ask her how she’s feeling, she doesn’t know how to describe it, so she tells them how big the worries are in carrots:

? 1 carrot – Poppy’s worries are still small. She’s Ok.

??? 2-3 carrots – Poppy is starting to think about her worries more than anything else. She’s getting worried they are starting to get big.

????? 4 – 5 carrots – Poppy’s worries are starting to make it so she’s not feeling well. She has a headache, maybe even a stomachache. Poppy’s worries are getting big, she needs some help.

How many carrots are you feeling today?

Let’s make a plan!

What are some ways we could keep big feelings small?

The Plan Example

What’s the problem?

Big feelings after school

How can we solve it?

Take a break and get a snack before going out to play

What’s the solution?

Let the adults know how my day was and if I think big feelings are coming (how many carrots do I feel?)

Now it’s your turn!

Did you follow the plan? How did it go?

  • Click on the Poppy video that best describes how it all worked out.
  • Don’t forget, plans take practice. Sometimes they work out the first time, sometimes it takes a couple of tries. The important thing is your trying and that you’re working together.

? Yes to success!

? Maybe nextime