Add a Little Fun to Your Day with Rituals

Add a Little Fun to Your Day with Rituals

We have all heard of the importance of routines and schedules. Routines and schedules provide children with the understanding of what is coming next and what is to be expected. These are both very important parts of a child’s day. Now let’s add a little fun to your day!! How do I expect to do that?? Add some fun rituals.

What is a Ritual and How is it Different from a Routine?

A ritual is an action we do to help with transitions or as a fun thing which increases the bond between child and adult. A routine is when you do things in a certain order like a bedtime routine or morning routine.

A number of athletes have rituals they perform before a competition. Some hockey players tap the goalie on their way out to the ice. It is common to see some football players pray before going on the field. These acts pump the person up and get them ready for the game.

Rituals can be very beneficial to children that have a hard time with transitions. Rituals do not have to be elaborate and can be quite cute and fun.

What are Some Examples of Rituals?

Special handshake.

A saying you repeat to each other.

Kiss on the cheek.

A song you sing.

Rubbing noses or foreheads.

 

Our youngest son and I have a number of rituals that we use often and I can take them out when he is feeling overwhelmed or worried. Every morning we have snuggles. He always wants to give me a morning kiss before his dad does so they “wrestle” to see who goes first. He goes first! We have a special walk (he walks on my feet). Hugs are a must. He started rubbing his forehead on mine when he was a toddler and it has stuck!

If your little one is struggling with a certain part of your daily life try adding in some rituals and see if that helps. Rituals are perfect before bed!!

 

3 Magic Little Words

3 Magic Little Words

Do you ever feel like there is so much going on that you do not know where to start or that you will never get things accomplished? This can be the start of major overwhelm! And guess what???….

THIS IS A NORMAL FEELING!

Many people go through this and it can be extremely stressful. As parents, this feeling can happen often. This is true for stay at home moms/dads, work from home moms/dads, working moms/dads, foster parents, step parents etc.

It even happens to me!! Yes, you heard that correct. I am normal (at least I believe I am 😛 ).

Now that the cat is out of the bag, what can we do about it??

Perspective is important! Rethink the way you think?? What do I mean….

When I find myself saying “I have to……”. The list becomes so long that no one will be able to accomplish it. Then replace “I have to” with…

“I GET TO”

Yes, that is correct. I will say “I get to prepare lunch”, or “I get to play with the little man”. You get the point. This word change helps immensely. Even at 3 am when our little man needs to be tucked back into bed.

So if you are in the midst of sleep-teaching your child, trying to figure out your child’s behavior, overwhelmed at work, have a to-do list that is getting bigger by the moment please remember to breathe and say “I get to”.

This simple word shift can cause you to have a different perspective about the task at hand. When we are able to look at things in a more positive light the overwhelm reduces and we often feel better able to cope. I hope you are able to have a wonderful day and change your perspective if needed.

All the best!

 

Proud he calls me “Mom”

Proud he calls me “Mom”

I read an article that struck me. The article is from Baltimore’s Best Mix 1065FM it is titled “Trendy Moms Don’t Want to Be Called “Mom” Anymore, They Want to Be Called This”.

I was like “Hell No, I am proud he calls me Mom!”

This brought a whole lot of emotion forward. I worked hard to become a Mom and a Damn proud one at that!

Before I was blessed with a little man to call me Mom I was blessed with 2 awesome StepSons that have a Mom so I was (and still am) “Brenda”. Both of my Stepsons know that I love them dearly. I wanted desperately to be a Mom. I was not sure I was going to be able to have a child.

I distinctly remember sitting on the floor crying. I was putting names on storage boxes. I wrote each of my Stepsons names on a storage box and then I wrote “Dad” on a storage box. When it came time to label the storage box for me I broke into tears.  My husband asked what was going on. I simply responded “I don’t know if I will ever get to be “Mom”. He just gave me a big hug!

About a year went by before we were blessed to welcome our youngest little man into the world! I am extremely proud to call him my son and over the moon happy he calls me “Mom”!!

From one Happy Mom!!

 

Back to School: Safe Place to Land

Back to School: Safe Place to Land

Back to school season is upon us. Some children are already back to school and some are preparing for this adventure to begin! This can be a huge adjustment for our precious little ones. Often our little ones do not have the words to express their worries, questions, fears or excitement. This is where the safe place to let things out comes in.

How can you help if they do not tell you what they need?

Let’s put this in perspective. You have just started a new job. Imagine all the emotions you go through. It is hard for you to pinpoint what exactly is causing you angst but you can at least state “I am nervous”. Then you start to verbally unload on a friend or family member. After that conversation, you feel so much better.

Children are famous for acting out their feelings as opposed to talking. The first weeks back to school, I would recommend that you are prepared for many different emotional outbursts to happen. Know that these emotional responses are your child’s way of dealing with the changes. They have absolutely nothing to do with you!

Your child may seem absolutely fine when they get home, then all of a sudden he is freaking out because his sister touched him or the couch is not comfortable or ……(you get the point). Just know that this is to be expected. Being the safe place for your child to unload emotionally will benefit him in the long run.

Does this mean that you can’t explain that the outbursts are not acceptable??

No. It means that you can help your child learn that he is reacting to things instead of dealing with his emotions from the day. It is the whole concept of being “proactive instead of reactive”.

One of the most helpful things that I have found is to ask the question “I am wondering if…”. I will often state “I am wondering if you are tired or hungry”. Also, labeling what you see is important. “Man I am noticing that when you get home from school you get angry”.

How can you help your child cope with all this emotion?
  1. If your child is on that loves hugs, meet him with open arms!
  2. Have a snack prepared so your child does not get “hangry”.
  3. Plan a low-key evening.
  4. Put your phone or other electronics away and give your child your attention.
  5. Engage in some fun play or roughhousing. Laughter can be just as therapeutic as crying.
  6. Let your child guide his play with you for about 10 to 15 minutes. Child Directed play rocks!

 

Enjoy the next few weeks with your child as he becomes the student he wants to be. I encourage you to be your child’s safe place to land at the end of the day! Slowly over time, you will see a major reduction in your child’s emotional reactions. This will be your cue that he is beginning to adjust to the new grade. If the behaviour does not change then I would recommend reaching out for additional supports.

Back to School Sleep Tip

Back to School Sleep Tip

It is that time of the year where our little ones are preparing to go to school or go back to school. The first thing I get a number of questions about is how to get your child prepared to get the amount of sleep he needs each night.

When summer hits we often fall off our routines. This is pretty common and honestly, it is to be expected. If you child is going to bed later and waking up later than he needs for school you can help him get back on track.

Where do you start?

The first thing that I recommend that you do is to figure out what time your child needs to be going to bed to get the recommended amount of sleep that he needs.

Here is a link that can help you figure out how much sleep your child needs Recommended Hours of Sleep. Keep in mind your child may need more or less sleep than a child that is the same age as your child. So trust your gut instincts on the exact amount of sleep that is best for your child.

Keep in mind your child may need more or less sleep than a child that is the same age as your child. So trust your gut instincts on the exact amount of sleep that is best for your child.

Now What?

Now you know how much time your child should be sleeping so the next thing to look at is what time does your child have to be awake to get where they need to be in a timely fashion without you having to rush them out the door (stay tuned for a post about how to get them out the door with your patience and hair intact).

Let us say for example you need to be out the door by 8:00 am so you decide that 7:00 am is a good time for your child to get up.

Currently, your child is getting up around 9:00 am. There are 2 ways you can approach this change:

Cold Turkey:

The weekend before school you can just cold turkey wake your child up at 7:00 am and start your day. I do recommend giving him a few days to adjust before going to school which is why I recommend starting on the weekend. Then have bedtime at the time you figure he needs to be able to get proper rest.

Gradually:

Right about now you can start waking your child up 15 minutes before he usually wakes up. Bedtime will be 15 minutes before he usually goes to sleep. Then every 3 to 4 days, change wake-up and bedtime by 15 minutes. Continue this approach until you reach the desired times.

Be prepared for some protest from your child. Reminding your child that you are doing this to help him get ready for school can have a positive effect on the push back you may receive.

Have fun preparing for back to school!

If you have additional questions feel free to ask me all the questions that you have in the Preschool/School Aged Group or Forum Area for members. Not a member become a member today!

 

 

 

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