Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kids learn to manage emotions with Frameworks of Tampa Bay

DOWNTOWN — When Jessica Muroff tells people about her job as director of a nonprofit organization that teaches kids to manage their emotions so those emotions don't manage them, she is typically asked one question: Do you have programs for adults, too?

Clearly the topic of social and emotional intelligence is popular.

Founded in April 2011, Frameworks of Tampa Bay goes to schools and nonprofit groups. It's currently teaching 1,500 young people ages 8 to 18.

On a recent weekday at Booker T. Washington Elementary, 16 third-graders practiced breathing deeply.

The day's lesson was managing stress, and their Frameworks teacher, Dana De Mahop, learned that they had taken standardized tests earlier and would be taking the FCAT soon.

Frameworks teachers try to tie lessons to real life. In the next room, students had come back from recess irritated about a boy who hadn't followed playground rules during a game of tag. That class went over a previous lesson, which was easier for them to apply in theory than practice: Was is okay to be angry at him?

Sure. Emotions aren't good or bad. Feelings are feedback from your body and can be comfortable or uncomfortable. It's what you do with the feeling that can be negative or positive.

Frameworks teaches kids to stop, take a deep breath and think about the whole situation. Then come up with the best solution and go.

Dominic Smith, 10, said it works like this.

"If somebody starts to get on your nerves, you can't hit them," he said. "You have to tell them: Can you please stop? I'm doing some work."

Frameworks also teaches kids to give and accept compliments and to build healthy relationships by considering the golden rule.

The kids in De Mahop's class described how they felt about taking tests. Nervous. Stressed out. Bored. Exhausted.

Identifying feelings is the first of five core skills to emotional learning. Emotions can be nuanced, director Muroff said. "When you're mad, are you really frustrated?"

The second skill is self-management, then social awareness, empathy and responsible decisionmaking.

Muroff, the daughter of teenage parents and first in her family to graduate from college, realized that these skills were essential for her own success.

"If you have a stressful situation at home, does it distract you at work? That's what happens to youth at school when emotions are interrupting their focus," she said. "If they can label emotions, they might choose a more physical expression. These are very fundamental skills that we all need."

Frameworks evolved from the Ophelia Project and Boys Initiative, which started in 2002. It is funded by foundations and donations that totaled $700,000 this fiscal year. Eighty percent of the students served are in low-income families. The lessons are all evidence based and tailored to age groups. Older kids cover topics like building self-esteem and encouraging strong relationships with peers and teachers.

This day's lesson ended with a few relaxation techniques. The children breathed deeply as if they were smelling a flower and exhaled as though they were blowing its petals. They tensed body parts and relaxed them and then they made a string of worry beads, which they took home.

Elisabeth Parker can be reached at eparker@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3431.

Kids learn to manage emotions with Frameworks of Tampa Bay 04/02/14 [Last modified: Friday, April 4, 2014 3:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Observations from a liberal, gay, Latino, feminist Florida House freshman

    Blogs

    State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando,  rocked the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus dinner at Tallahassee's Hotel Duval Satursday night with his unabashedly liberal and passionate take on the myriad issues he said are key to LGBTQ Floridians. Among them: Access to guns, Reproductive rights, home …

    Carlos G. Smith
  2. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  3. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  4. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  5. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.