Processing our emotions as adults isn’t always easy. How can we expect our young ones to handle this hard season of life perfectly? We can’t!
We can’t expect our little ones to fully comprehend what’s going on. Our children already have big emotions and they’re learning how to process those thoughts and feelings and how to express them in a healthy and helpful way.
They could be feeling confused and maybe even stressed or worried. No wonder they’re acting out in different ways! Let’s help them and also help ourselves.
Yelling, becoming irritated, impatient, and giving them extra boundaries and restrictions will not be helpful. Especially for you. So, how can we relieve tensions, help process emotions, and create joy, peace, and comfort in our homes? Here are some tips and creative play ideas:
I am not a “yogi” by any means but I learned a few years ago that teaching our children how to breathe deeply, to position their bodies in relaxing postures, and slowing their minds and bodies down, will help them process their big emotions. It’s extremely relaxing and sometimes a little silly too. Get on the floor and join them- it helps!
A friend who works for children taught me this trick when Mariela was one and I was pregnant with Auden. It was my first experience of helping my child process her new and very big emotions. It is silly and fun but also helpful. Pick an animal and become that animal.
Example: Stomp like an elephant and use your arm as an elephant trunk and swing it while you make elephant noises. Now get on all fours and growl like a bear. And so forth. Switch up the animal every minute for about 5 minutes and join your kids. They want to see you be silly too!
Water can be relaxing for children and it can promote creativity and imaginative play. Whether you fill-up the bathtub with soap and let them play in a big bubble bath with some water-friendly toys or you fill-up the sink and let them “wash” some dishes, they will enjoy it. You can also fill up a bin and let them sit in the fresh air while they splash around.
I have many suggestions and you can click on my Pinterest board for some ideas. Most of these activities can be created with whatever you have around your home. It’s all simple fun that you can go to if your child needs to be redirected or seems to be having a hard time making good decisions. Some quick ideas: get dry rice or beans and fill up a bin or whatever you have around and give your kid a small shovel, a spoon, or cup and let them dig around and play. My son loves dinosaurs so you can easily add some toys as well.
BUILD A FORT
Be silly and have fun! Kids of all ages love a good fort, whether it’s inside or your backyard. Do a shadow puppet show, read books with a flashlight, snuggle up to a show in the pretend castle. Use your imagination!
If you have a yard or the woods nearby then take this time to get fresh air or go on a walk. Create a scavenger hunt and bring a bucket to collect the items. Your kiddo can create a craft or paint some rocks with their finds. Can’t go outside? No problem, create a fun indoor hunt. Get creative!
Bake a treat with your kids. Allow them to pour the flour or mix in the milk. Give them a task and make something to eat together. This will give them affirmation and encouragement and make them feel proud to eat something they made. Even allowing your kid to help make their own sandwich will give them the feeling of accomplishment and excitement.
Use this time to verbally encourage your children. Tell them how special they are, how proud you are when they help, use words like, “kind, generous, helpful, funny, smart, brave, creative, beautiful, strong, hard-working..” Choose to affirm them with phrases like,
“You were right.”
“I believe in you.”
“Don’t give up.”
“I’ll always love you.”
“That’s a great question.”
“Your ideas are great.”
“You are enough.”
“I appreciate you.”
“You are helpful.”
“I know you did your best.”
Make sure you apologize when you are wrong and seek your child’s forgiveness. Use the words, “I am so sorry for yelling at you. That was wrong of me and I should have used self-control to speak kindly and patiently with you. Will you please forgive me? I love you!”
Our children need to know that Mom and Dad make mistakes too. We have hard days too. We are not perfect. They need to see our humility. Use this time to teach your children by practicing the characteristics, words, and self-discipline we hope to instill in our children.
9. GET FRESH AIR
When in doubt, go outside. Breathe in some fresh air, take a walk, go on a run, do a fun outdoor activity. Any of the above suggestions can be done outside. Sometimes, that’s all we need to help our child calm down, relax, focus, or redirect.
If you want some other suggestions, let me know. I also have a Pinterest board with some kid crafts and one with lots of easy baking ideas. I want to help and encourage however I can. Enjoy your little loves!
Lauren Sosler Photography specializes in baby, motherhood, newborn, maternity, and family sessions in the Asheville area, including Black Mountain, Hendersonville, Montreat, Greenville South Carolina, Johnson City Tennessee, Charlotte, and surrounding areas.
I am so happy you are here and would love to tell you more about a baby or motherhood photography session. From wardrobe to hair and makeup, I have thought through and planned every detail, to ensure an enjoyable experience. If you are interested in a custom portrait session with Lauren Sosler Photography and would like more information, please email me.
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