Notes from Rose
(Continued from Part 2)
Exercise and move your body once a day — even if it’s just walking around the block. If that’s not possible, find a fun app to practice yoga, exercise class, dance party, or whatever it is you like. (My kids like www.gonoodle.com) We all feel a little calmer and better connected to our minds and body when we are active.
- Help your children by reflecting and reframing. When you see any behavior that triggers a reflex to correct it, try to slow it down and remember children who don’t feel well often don’t act well. Reflect the feeling with words. For example, sometimes I’ve observed my son beginning to stir up conflict either with me or others. I notice behaviors like pushing, shoving, poking at his little brother. I try to stop and reflect on what I observe happening and identify a feeling I believe he may be experiencing. “I notice you are pushing your brother; I imagine you are frustrated that he is grabbing your car track that you worked so hard to assemble.” Intervene appropriately. Say ”pushing is not safe” and then lead into a problem solving — ask an open-ended question, “What can we do to keep your track in one piece and still include your brother?”
- Helping your child identify and label their emotions helps to put them into a tangible form, reduces the intensity and difficulty of such large feelings, and reframes them into something that we can actively address. “You’re bored. OK, I get it. I get bored, too. What are new things we can try today, or what can this paper roll turn into?”
- Put feelings into words: draw it, write, or if you can’t deliver a desire — create a shared fantasy:
- “You miss your friends” again acknowledge this feeling, normalize it and share your own experience, “I also miss seeing my friends and family.” Would you like to draw a picture of them, talk about things we enjoy with them? Or let’s write a story of the things we’ll do when we get back together again. Help your child also keep connected to important social relationships.
- Creativity and play — Creativity stimulates the brain positively. If you are working you may find it hard to find the time to set this up, but it can be as simple as playing a song and doing a silly dance while you cook a meal, or narrating a funny story together. Look around your space and use what you have, or reinvent uses for old items. Engage your kids in any process of creating something.
- Bake, cook, assemble or invent.
- Build forts, draw, paint, incorporate sensory items like play-dough.
There’s so much content online for fun art and easy science experiments. Check out Steve Spangler’s site for new experiments that take less than a few minutes while using household items: https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/milk-color-explosion/
Fun ones to try:
- Color-changing milk- ingredients: milk, food coloring, soap + q-tip
- Mentos geyser experiment: Diet coke and mentos: Stand back for the coke explosion!
- Check this out for homemade ice cream in a bag: https://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/ice-cream3.htm
- You can explore science fair projects here: https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/science-projects#browse
Practice compassion for yourself and others: accept that this is hard, you will struggle, and there will be moments that aren’t the most joyous. It’s a part of the growth. Try to let go of “should” statements. Notice the things you are telling yourself about your expectations for yourself or others. What was the normal in the past may not be possible just now.
Remember: this will all end and these moments are life-changing. Try to reflect upon and bring forth practices that have helped you and your loved ones build resilience and connect more intimately. I wish you and your family health and wellness during this time.