Raise your hand if one of your goals is to be more mindful. I’m guessing it’s not just me. And if you have a child that is highly sensitive, has a lot of anxiety or stress, or has difficulty calming down when he’s upset or excited, building a mindfulness practice might be especially beneficial. Mindfulness techniques give children tools for self-regulating, which in turn allows them to pause and reset when they are losing control. I used to think mindfulness was this vague state of mind that involved putting my phone down and trying to be present. While that’s a great start, I've learned that there’s so much more to it.
Consciously noticing the world around you can help bring you back to the present, especially when you’re overwhelmed by stress or emotion. You can practice noticing five things you see, hear or feel through touch to help you be present. Try playing this as a game with your child. Sit down with him wherever you are and tell him you want to show him the “notice five things” game. Then look around and tell him five things you see. Let him have a turn. After you play, explain that this can be a helpful game to play, with you or by himself, if he’s ever feeling anxious or upset. Mix it up sometimes and notice five things you hear instead.
Use the link below to find more mindfulness exercises that you can practice together at home!
Sadness is not something anyone likes to feel, but it is a normal emotion. Do you remember some times that you have felt sad? What made you feel better? Check out the clip below:
What are some ways they deal with sadness?
What ideas do you have for the next time you feel sad?
Why Should I? Wednesday: The Power of Words
You can probably remember a time when you were hanging out with your friends and someone made a comment or used a word that made you feel uncomfortable. Now you are faced with a choice: do you say something? Or do you just let it go? Do you want to say something but are afraid of how your friends will respond?
Katy is faced with a similar situation. Click the link below to read more about how she handles it:
Ask yourself or your child the following questions:
What is the big deal here? Is Katy making too much of this situation?
Have you ever felt uncomfortable when you have heard one of these words or any other words?
Have you ever used one of these words? Have you thought about how using it may hurt the feelings of others?
What would you do if you were Katy?
Look for additional questions in the link at the end of the story.
Thoughtful Thursday: Tootle Rocks!
Tootling is the opposite of tattling. In school, Tootles are used to help increase positive interactions by highlighting the good actions or services people have done. The idea is to get people noticing, recognizing and acknowledging the prosocial behaviors they see and experience.
In this activity, put your positive message on rocks! You can paint rocks with an inspiring message, like "Keep it up! You got this!", or "Stay strong and carry on." You can use paint, markers, or nail polish to decorate your rock. When you go on a walk, scatter the rocks for someone else to find a surprise that'll make their day brighter. How many tootles can you ROCK today?
Family Fun Friday: House Dance Party
Who doesn’t like to move and party?! Make this dance party the best one yet... wear a crazy outfit, come up with creative jewelry ideas, find a funny hat to put on! Decorate the house too... turn off some of the lights, put up colored string lights if you have them... GET CREATIVE! Use any party supplies you might have laying around. Turn up the music and let everyone pick a different song, maybe even have a karaoke contest! What if you handed out “prizes” for best outfit, best singer, best dancer?? Your party is only limited by your imagination!
Use this activity to get some exercise, laugh out loud, get inspired, and have FUN!