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Grandparents Teach, too

Helping children to settle down a challenge

Sabin, Davis, Hetrick, Anderegg, Macalady, Walker, Darling and Katers

“Emotional Health is a lifelong Superpower.”— Angela Pruess, child psychologist

How do we help our children develop emotional health? Angela Pruess has some every good scientific and practical ways to help families. Her many helpful suggestions are at parentswith confidence.com and some are shared with her permission.

Kinds of breathing

≤ Bear breathing: Together Inhale through the nose, to a count of four, pause for a count of two; breathe out for a count of four, pause for count of two and repeat. This will help ground kids and adults before naps, tests, or a difficult task.

≤ Hissing Breath: Breathe in through the nose with a long deep inhale and out the mouth with a hissing breath slow and long. This will slow everyone down mentally and physically.

Flower Breath: Imagine smelling a rose or daffodil. Breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. People become conscious of breathing.

Bunny Breathing: Take in 3 quick sniffs through the nose and one long exhale out the nose pretending to be bunnies sniffing for carrots to eat. This is good when children are so tense and upset that they can’t find their breath. It will help them connect with their exhale so they breath instead of spin out.

More settling

Cuddle with a warm cloth or therapeutic wrap on the back of the neck, back, shoulders, legs wrist or the back of the feet. Therapeutic wraps are filled with natural grain and dried French lavender and may be warmed in the microwave or cooled in the refrigerator. You can also cuddle with a stuffed animal or a real one.

Draw, paint, doodle, scribble, or dozen tangle

Wrap up like a burrito together and talk, tell a story, or sing softly.

Do some animal- walks like a bear, crab, jumping frog. Hang upside down and while leaning against the back or cushions of a couch. Do a wall push up or hand stand.

Try some kids’ yoga: warrior pose, tree pose, chair pose downward dog stretch, hero pose or plank. Watch a dog lie on its back with feet up for a gentle scratch and emulate it.

Make a fort and climb in together to read a book by flashlight, have a nutritious snack, turn off the lights, or take a nap. Do a 5-4-3-2-1 Challenge. Name five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can touch, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This is a grounding effect. It helps pull us into our body’s senses and out of our overly active emotion center of the brain.

For more see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com;wnmufm.org/Learning Through the Senses live and podcasts; Pinterest, and Facebook. Check out parentswithconfidence.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Grandparents Teach, Too is a non-profit organization of elementary and preschool teachers from Marquette, Michigan. The writers include: Jan Sabin, Mary Davis, Jean Hetrick, Cheryl Anderegg, Esther Macalady, Colleen Walker, Fran Darling, and Iris Katers. Their mission since 2009 is to help parents, grandparents, and other caregivers of young children provide fun activities to help prepare young children for school and a life long love of learning. They are supported by Great Start, Parent Awareness of Michigan, the U.P. Association for the Education of Young Children, Northern Michigan School of Education, the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum and the Northern Michigan University Center for Economic Education.

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