Every child feels everything intensely and strong-willed and emotional kids feels everything even more intensely. Our role is to help them deal with those strong emotions before they spiral down to a point of no return.
There are few techniques and here is one of our favourites: You could create a calm down corner which is a safe space for a child to take a break, breathe and try to focus, away from noise, stimulation, screen and a busy environment. A space where no one is controlling his behaviour but more a space where it feels quiet, good and safe to be in. You could call it Calm Down space, Breathing corner, Cool Down spot, Quiet place, Rainbow Gum paradise...
This is NOT a punitive space. This should be an inviting and soothing space where they feel comfortable in retreating to when they are feeling overwhelmed. Here are few tips on how to create a calm down space.
WHAT is a quiet corner?
First of all, there are no rules. You can add any elements that make your kid comfortable, loved and cherished.
Find something that is comforting, like a pillow, a comfy place to sit, plenty of blankets and cushions, and why not your Rainbow Gum yoga mat.
A sensory activity would be great like some plastic bottles to squeeze, a box of lego to build a structure and destroy it afterwards, some paper and colourful pencils, some mandalas or colouring in, some lavender or lemon essential oil in the air..
Own it: listen to your child's ideas for their corner, and get them involved in the planning and setting up.
Calming: you could do your own calm down glitter jar, they can listen to stories or relaxing music or podcasts with headphones, a basket with some stress balls, fidgets, a photobook with happy memories, a plant nearby can be a nice down to earth touch...
Engaging: you could display some flashcards, a couple of books, toys cars, a poster with yoga poses or breathing techniques, stuffed animals, coloring books, do some yoga poses...
Friendly mantra to use: STOP. THINK. BREATHE
Of course these are only suggestions and not to be displayed all at the same time for your kid to enjoy. Remember this space should be calming not overwhelming.
WHEN to use this space?
- when a child is being aggressive or agitated
- when they are fighting with siblings
- when they are showing signs of anger
- when they are restless
- when they have been over stimulated
- when they feel upset, disappointed or worried
- whenever YOU (as a carer) feel it will be beneficial to your kid
You can share your "space" by tagging us on Instagram @RainbowGumMats