Help Kids Regulate Emotions

Family-Bubbles

I saw this on a friend’s webpage and I wanted to save it for my kids:

I found this exercise for children rather inspired to help them learn about emotion regulation and normalizing negative emotions for their temporary necessity. I like this for teaching kids there are many normal negative or unpleasant emotions other than anger.

You need: Bubbles

Have your child blow as many bubbles as they want, and let them know that these bubbles are representing all of their negative feelings. This could be sadness, anger, fear… tell them to visualize all of these things going away as the bubbles float on through the air. Once they’re done, repeat the following:

Sadness, tears, worry fears, thank you for you.
You’ve been helpful and you’ve been true.
Into these bubbles it’s you I blow,
So I can smile and let you go!

Remember to talk to them about bottling up emotions and how it’s important to talk through them and let them fly away!

Missing My Mom Today

It all started with me wanting to have the kid song Apples and Bananas for my baby. I’m loading up on songs and videos for the long flights ahead of us and Apples and Bananas is one of my favorites. As I looked at different versions I was reminded of being a kid myself and watching Rafi.

I clicked on the Rafi version of Apples and Bananas and my son crawled into my lap. We watched and sang and  …  it reminded me of doing the same thing as a kid with my mom. She’s been dead since I was about 20 years old and I don’t think of her every day, but when I do …  it’s something small that she would do or say that brings up my longing for her as if she died last week.

I miss my mom.

Journaling With Parents Helps Deal With Tough Topics

JournalI just read about a parent giving their kids journals and letting the kids write whatever they want in them. The goal is to give the kids a place where they can talk about tough topics without the embarrassment of face-to-face discussion. I love this idea.

We have “Mommy and Me” journals. I started this when Tayla (9) was about 7, and Ticia was around 5. Each of my girls have their own journal and they are able to write down anything at all in them that they may feel uncomfortable discussing face to face. They leave the journal on my bed and I write back. So far, the main topics have been friendships, fights with one another and feeling sad or unloved by someone. My hope, is that by starting this early, they will be more inclined to come to me with more serious issues later.

I don’t know if our kid will take to this, but I’ll definitely be providing him with a journal just in case. Earlier this year I wrote about these cute journals, but these seem more like sharing journals. This journal seems more like a way for kids to talk about important things.

Anyhoo …  I thought I’d share the idea here in case anyone else likes the idea.

Feeling Faces Tachometer for Kids

I read a review of Planes Fire and Rescue at Adoption at the Movies and it gave me the inspiration to create a feeling faces tachometer. If you want to know why please read the review on Adoption at the Movies. If you’d like to view the amazing feeling faces tach, please forge ahead!

These are the materials I used. They are all things that I found around the house. #UpCycle

These are the materials I used. They are all things that I found around the house. #UpCycle

Materials:

  • Print out of feeling faces tach that I made in Fireworks
  • Cardboard from baby mittens wrapping
  • Old business card
  • Scissors
  • Bronze fastener
  • Elmer’s spray glue
Cut out the tach and glue it to your piece of scrap cardboard.

Cut out the tach and glue it to your piece of scrap cardboard.

Cut out the tach.

Cut out the tach.

Color a long stripe on the business card. You'll use this for the arrow.

Color a long stripe on the business card. You’ll use this for the arrow.

Cut the red stripe off. Cut the two top corners off the top. Viola! An arrow!

Cut the red stripe off. Cut the two top corners off the top. Viola! An arrow!

It would have been great if I would have though to bring my hole-punch earlier.

It would have been great if I would have though to bring my hole-punch earlier.

Place your arrow where you'd like it on the tach and punch a hole.

Place your arrow where you’d like it on the tach and punch a hole.

My tach is happy that this project is complete!

My tach is happy that this project is complete!

Here is the feeling faces tach that I made on my computer in case you’d like to make your own.

Feeling-Faces-Tachometer

Don’t forget to check out the movie review over at Adoption at the Movies.

Must Parents Get Enthusiastic Consent From Children?

Consent-MattersI just watched a video from Parenting Gently called 4 Ways Parents Teach Kids That Consent Doesn’t Matter.

Her 4 points are:

#1 Parents sometimes play games with their children in which the children yell/giggle “No” while the parent(s) continue to tickle or rough house with them. Both parties (parent(s) and child(ren)) laugh the whole time and are in agreement that this is a game.

#2 Parents tell children that their feelings are wrong by contradicting what the child tells the parent that they are feeling. For example: the child says that they are hungry after having eaten and the parent says, “No. You’re not hungry. You just ate.”

#3 Parents encourage children to give affection even when the child does not want to. For example: the parent and child are interacting with an adult that the parent cares for and the parent tells the child to give the other adult a hug and a kiss even after the child clearly shows through words and/or behavior that they do not want to.

#4 Parents make it clear to children that they must listen to their elders because they are older and they are in charge. For example: the child runs into the kitchen and an adult the child is unfamiliar with tells the child not to run. The child doesn’t want to listen and responds to the adult drawing the parent into the room. The parent tells the child, “Listen to ______ because they are older and know better. Remember to respect your elders. Now apologize.”

What’s “cute” as toddlers, most people would agree isn’t cute as teens. How will these kids know what is okay and what isn’t okay if we don’t teach them while they are young?

Most of us can imagine scenarios like this in our heads and most of us have struggled with dealing with these situations. Very few things are clearly defined, but for the most part I agree with her list. Her point is that if we don’t teach children that their bodies are their own and they have the right to control them, we’re leaving them open to all kinds of abuse.Parents need to make sure that kids give enthusiastic consent.

According to the National Child Abuse Hotline, “More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.” That means teaching your child to listen to the older person and to suppress what they feel comfortable with in favor of what the elder is telling them to do isn’t doing them any favors.

Please, please please teach your child that their body is their own … even with parents. It’s okay for them to feel uncomfortable. It’s okay for them to say that they feel uncomfortable. It’s expected that the other person with respect their feelings and stop … even when playing. So yes parents …. it’s time to make sure that you have enthusiastic consent for those ticklefests.

Family is Good

This week my family came out to welcome the baby to our family! It was amazing! We went to the beach. We went to Disneyland (yes, we took the baby and got a photo with Mickey Mouse!). We went to the old city and had lunch.

We sat around the house and let the kids run like banshees. We watched little kid movies. We played little kid games. We had a water balloon fight.

On the last day, my sister burst into my room with a beautiful card, balloons and Jelly Belly candies to welcome me into the cult of motherhood! The week was absolutely amazing and I’m so glad that people are welcoming the baby into our family!

Mother's Day love.

Mother’s Day love.

We even had the chance to sit down and talk about how we might feel if the adoption didn’t go through. Doing adoption from foster care is scary. I’m glad that my family is willing to open their hearts to the baby and hope, along with us, that we are chosen to give him a home. If we aren’t the ones, that’s okay too. Perhaps his family will get it together and he’ll go back to them. Either way, our week was great. We feel loved. Life is good.

The Baby is Changing Me

ChangeToday I did something that I have never done before: I canceled a gig.

I was scheduled to appear at a community event next month and take part in a panel. Usually, He and I go together. I do my thing. He handles the photos and video. Um … how is that gonna work with a newborn? I didn’t even talk with Him about it … I just emailed the organizer and let them know that I had to back out. There was nothing to think about. Nothing to talk about.

It’s amazing how a little tiny creature that I just met can make me change something as crucial to my being as my work schedule …..  I don’t know what’s gonna happen next …