Parents (magazine) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just wanted to share a fresh parenting approach I read in Parents magazine titled “A Calm Approach to Discipline” [October 2013]. As the mother of a spirited 6-year-old, I have searched relentlessly for ways to diffuse his temper tantrums. The article introduced “The Mindful Method,” which teaches children (and parents) calming techniques via child-friendly breathing and sensory exercises.
Consider the use of a snow globe (I know you’ve got one somewhere, right?) I had Noah shake his “Noah’s Ark” snow globe, which allowed him to see himself as the glitter storm that erupted when he shook it. As the glitter settled and the storm dissipated, so did his anger. Although, I’ll admit it took more than one shake, the exercise served to shift his focus away from what angered him.
Another approach that I’ll try soon is a breathing exercise tailored for little night owls. If you have a little one like my four year old who constantly pops up out of bed because they’re “not tiiiiirrred,” try this: Place a stuffed animal on their tummy and have them take deep breaths. Yep, that lil’ teddy goes up and down with each breath. This not only gives children a sense of cause and effect, but also encourages them to take deep breaths, which lead to relaxation, and ultimately sleep.
The other technique that I’m eager to try is a fight buster in the car. If you have more than one child, you know that car can be a traveling war on wheels, and it can get loud! The Parents’ article recommends rolling down the windows and having each child name three things they can hear. That’ll keep ‘em quiet…unless they fight over who can name something first…ugh. Deep breaths, mom. Deep breaths.