My kids are stressed. It’s not surprising because they had a huge and I mean HUGE life change. We moved off the farm away from Nana and Granddad, lost our dog over the summer, started public school and a whole bunch of new routines. (Just that last sentence stresses me out!)
In the past month the number of temper-tantrums and meltdowns has increased a lot.
Thanks to a number of friends and professionals they have helped me figure out ways to help my kids out. (Bouncing ideas off them was a huge help.) Today I am sharing the 7 key things I have changed/or added to our life.
Sensory Bins Since Lilly was a baby I have used sensory bins to help with her occupational therapy. A few weeks ago we went to a group thing for Lilly and it was Sensory Day. They had 5 stations and my kids loved it. They where so relaxed after wards. I have 4 bins in rotation, sand, coloured rice, coloured chick pea and a bean/corn. Through out the day I have one of these bins set out for them to play in.
Music This is something I usually use a lot but since the move we haven’t had a lot of music stuff out. I dusted off our Symphony and brought it out. A-man loves it! I changed up what we listen to in the house to more soothing music with mild beats.
Smells Yes, this is something I totally forgot about but I recently went to an essential oil party recently and was reminded how important smells are. In my play-dough this week I will be putting in calming smells when I make it. I will also be adding calming smells to my room sprays and bath water.
Alone Time This is new for us. I have started giving Lilly and A-man alone time in their rooms. Time to just play quietly by themselves and have breathers from each of us.
Water Play Water Calms A-man down. If you give him a bucket of water, some water toys and let him at it he quickly calms down.
Favourite Menu For the next while every meal that I serve will be either Lilly’s or A-man’s favourite food. Meals like Mac an Cheese, Stew, Sloppy Joe’s, Scrambled Eggs, and Chicken Stuffing Casserole have graced our table. Since I implemented this rule meal time has become easier and the kids are eating more!
Animals This is huge for my kids. Lilly has been brought up with animals who have been in tuned to her needs. When she was in a lot of pain, the dog or cats would comfort her. Often the dogs or cats would tell us before she showed symptoms of pain or illness. (The sign is they wouldn’t leave her side) Right now we do not have an animal but when Nana comes to visit we encourage her to bring Good Girl, (A-man’s name for Anna the german shepherd) or we go out to the farm to visit animals. At this moment we are looking into some kind of therapy animal, or service animal for Lilly.
Each of these key things help improve our day. Some days are still tough but that’s okay. We will take each day one step at a time.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional if you are experiencing stress issues with your child please you contact your doctor. These strategies I use were provided by my experience as an Early Childhood Professional, and Lilly’s Professional Team. Both my children’s mental health are monitored by professionals. A child’s mental health is important and should be taken seriously like another condition.