“Calm Down Choices…
When you’re in the thick of a meltdown with your child, when you feel your patience slipping, when you’re at your wits end, when you feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing’s working… try something different.
I have three children, and there is no ‘one size fits all.’
I have to handle certain situations with each of them differently and come up with new ways to adapt and evolve as a parent to help them handle their big feelings sometimes.
Yesterday was a struggle day.
This morning, my 4-year-old started slipping into her feelings.
Before it went too far, I offered a new calm down choice – one she’d never done before.
‘Why don’t we go take some space for your body to calm down,’ I suggested. ‘We’ll get some ice cubes and a spoon and stir them…’ Her yelling stopped so she could hear what I was saying a little better.
‘Come on,’ I continued. ‘We’ll need a bowl, or something to put the ice in, then you can stir them until they melt back into water.’
And just like that, her breathing slowed, her mind settled as her focus turned toward something else. Something fun she could do independently, something that could just be hers… her time and her space, to use in any way she wanted.
I helped her move away from the feelings that left her feeling angry and out of control, and gently nudged her into an activity she could make her own.
And after a few minutes of stirring and observing, touching and tasting the cool water, she felt better and calmer. We had successfully hit the reset button on our morning.
There was no yelling, no butting heads, no power struggle.
Try a calm down instead of a timeout next time you’re feeling like it’s starting to slip.”
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