Frequently Asked Questions

What is "Emotion Athletes"?

It is a fun children's series for 5-10 year olds that develops social and emotional learning. It focuses on emotional awareness, emotional regulation, and positive character traits like honesty and courage. The main content is a video story lasting 5-10 minutes that uses one main lesson from the science of emotions, weaves that message into a concrete story, and finishes with a song. It also provides quality educational videos and activities and podcasts. The characters in the videos are puppets and the main character is Bulgy (the puppet on our website's logo). Each day of activity takes between 10 minutes and 1 hour to complete. Families and schools can access content on our website and complete the program flexibly and at their own pace.

How much does the children's series cost?

We want to keep the cost of the series as low as possible, while covering our cost of production. A product needs production. We don't do this for the money, but we need money to do it. So we make the series available for 10 EUR/USD/GBP per month with a free trial until episode 6. If you cannot afford this low cost, you can make a request declaring so on your honor and we grant 100% of those requests with no questions asked. We want to make the series available to the largest possible number of children regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Who is on your team?

We have a range of skills with a family doctor, an engineer and two actors. This question is so frequent that we have a page with all the details here.

Is the series original?
Yes! It was borne out of the 2020 pandemic to answer the difficulties that children around us, sons and nephews confined at home, had in dealing with their emotions. The script is written by Joana Castelhano and Miguel Morin from their experience with children and their passion for good storytelling. The connection to Portugal comes from Joana, who is living there and has tested the early versions of the script with family and friends.
What is the science behind the series?

The series is based on the current scientific evidence about emotions (namely Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy and Transactional Analysis) and on our own personal and professional experience with emotions and children (the team consists mainly of Joana, family doctor, and Miguel, engineer and children's entertainer). You can see the main messages of all episodes below.

We also contribute to the public and academic debate and construction of new school curricula, with social and emotional learning programmes such as "Emotion Athletes". For example, we presented our programme in the 11th International Congress on Child and Adolescente Psychology (XI CIPCA).

Social and emotional learning programmes done in person in schools have a very positive impact in children, as this literature review shows from 213 social programmes. It concluded that children following these programmes develop social and emotionatl skills, attitudes, and behaviours, equivalent to an improvement in academic results by 11 percentil points on average. The study covered 270 thousand students from nursery school to senior school.

We include below the scientific and bibliography that served for the first six episodes. To see the detailed bibliography by episode, and to see the references for other days, you need to register.

Kabat-Zinn, Jon (2005). "Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation for everyday life", chapter "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf", p. 30, has the analogy between meditation practice and ocean waves.

Brackett, Marc (2019). "Feelings influence decisions" mentions an experience described in the book "Permission to feel: unlocking the power of emotions to help our kids, ourselves, and our society thrive", chapter 2, "Emotions are information", section "Emotions and decision-making", p. 32), where teachers were randomly put in a good or bad mood (simply spending 5 minutes writing about a good or a bad day) and then grading the same essay showed one letter difference in grade, i.e. that teachers' emotions significantly affect the grades they give students, and that this effect disappears if teachers first reflect on how they are feeling, realising that the reason they dislike the essay is the bad mood and not the quality of writing.

Beck, Aaron (1976), "Cognitive Therapy and the emotional disorders", chapter 2, "Tapping the internal communications", section "The hidden message" mentions the "A, B, C" model: Activating event, Belief, emotional Consequence.

Fielding, Lara (2015). "Listening to Your Authentic Self: The Purpose of Emotions" (blog) mentions that emotions signal an important need: "Emotions signal a NEED: When something is important to us, we are supposed to feel emotions."

Goldstein, Joseph (2007). "A heart full of peace", p. 46, has the example that thoughts are like the wizard of Oz, where the only power they have is the power we give them, and that we can avoid getting swept by thoughts by paying attention and trainin the mind with meditation.

Brackett, Marc (2019). "Permission to feel: unlocking the power of emotions to help our kids, ourselves, and our society thrive" chapter 6, "L: Labeling emotion", has the strategy, "If you can name it (an emotion), you can tame it."

Where are the videos?

The video of the first days on the day 1 page. We have more videos in English coming soon. When those become available, you will need to register to access them (why?).

Why do you require registration?

This children's series is a sequence of learnings and the videos build on messages from previous episodes. Registration gives you access to the videos in the right order so your little ones understand the educational content well.

We do not make the videos available in the public domain because we have no advertising whatsoever and so our copyright is what guarantees the sustainability of the project.

How do I register?

The Emotion Athletes series outside of Portugal works only by invitation. If you received an invitation, follow the instructions therein. Otherwise, email us (registration (at-symbol) emotionathletes (dot) org) to request an invitation, mentioning the channel by which you heard about us (through a friend, relatives, Facebook, etc).

Where can I show the videos?

We grant permission to use our content (image, trademark, and videos) in the following contexts:

  • home and family use: adults showing our content to children on mobile devices, computers, or television screens;
  • school and library use: teachers, librarians, or other educators showing our content to students on a computer, a television screen, or a video-projector;
  • therapeutic and professional support use: healthcare, foster care, and social care professionals showing our content to their clients or patients.

In all these cases, Emotion Athletes is not a substitute for professional help, e.g. a psychologist or psychiatrist, and shall not be construed as such.

All other uses of our content (image, trademark and videos), including but not limited to cinemas, companies, outdoor events, or TV, are explicitly prohibited without our previous authorization, are against the terms and conditions upon registration, and may lead to legal action from us. If in doubt, please contact us.

How do you make money?

We are a social enterprise and our first priority is to solve the problems due to low emotional intelligence among children (learn more). We first want to create impact and value, and only later capture some of that value.

Even so, we have some possibilities for sales that come from requests of our users, which we will explore with the goal of becoming financially sustainable by late 2021:

  • Sell a licence to publishers for inclusion in virtual school programmes.
  • Sell the children's series to schools with live theatre and facilitation sessions with discussion and sharing in classrooms.
  • Sell the series to TV stations.
  • Sell "puppet therapy" sessions over the internet for children to talk about emotions with Bulgy in the presence of parents.

Is the programme only for 5-10 year old children?

We made the programme for 5-10 year olds and tested the scripts and videos extensively with children of this age. Nevertheless, it also works for other ages:

  • 2 years or less: we suggest downloading the songs, which contain the main messages in a fun format, and singing them along with children.
  • 3-5 years: families and schools report that children like and understand part of the messages. One strategy is to watch the episode again until children know the song by heart and only then move on to the next.
  • 11-17 years: although teenagers find the puppets and songs too childish for them, families and schools report that they also learn valuable lessons when they "hitchhike" onto the episodes thanks to their younger siblings. One strategy for schools is for the class to watch the videos in order to present to a younger class.
  • 18 years or more: many adults and parents report that they themselves learn about their emotions thanks to our programme, saying "this course is made for me!" Adults can register even without children.

What is your vision and mission?

Our vision is a better world, where today's children are tomorrow's leaders and have high emotional intelligence with the character traits that stem from it: teamwork, courage, honesty, empathy, resilience, gratitude, and social and environmental responsibility.

To get there, our mission is to teach children to recognise their emotions, understand the reason, and get their needs met; and also to help parents and teachers create a space to talk about emotions with their children.

Our first goal is children's happiness.

Why are you on Facebook?

We use Facebook to communicate updates and interesting articles. But the content of the series is only available on our website and not on Facebook.

What are the videos you share on Facebook?

Our videos on Facebook are not those of our children's series. They only serve to communicate updates.

What are the main messages of each episode?

Here are the messages from each of the first 6 episodes, based on science. Each episode has a story and a song around its message so children remember it well.

  1. emotions are like waves; they come and go and we cannot stop them
  2. emotions are important because they affect our entire life
  3. emotions are caused by facts or thoughts
  4. if you have an emotion, then something is important for you
  5. the only way not be drowned by emotions is to pay attention to them
  6. giving emotions a name is the first step to surf them

To see the full list, you need to register (why?).

Can I download the videos?

No. On the one hand, we want to avoid piracy and illegal copying of our copyrighted content. On the other hand, we measure our short-term impact with the usage of our website and the number of views of the videos. Therefore, we want you to view the videos over streaming only.

Some partners we work with sometimes have important presentations that require 100% guarantee against internet failures and downtime of our website. This situation is for institutional partners and we ask that you contact us to facilitate the situation.

For schools without internet or classrooms without wi-fi, we ask that you contact us to discuss your case, for example with purchase of DVDs with the videos.

Who is supporting you?

Emotion Athletes take pride in international support from: