Additional Resources

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Save 11/13/18  6pm – 8pm when Jennifer Waldburger from Sleepy Planet comes to talk with us about 

Parenting with Awareness: Cultivating Presence, Balance,and Heartfulness

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In the meantime, read their 5 timely tips, perfect for the start of a new school year.

Hi Moms and Dads!One of the most challenging aspects of parenting is helping kids move through the big emotions that can come with life changes. Starting school, moving house, welcoming a baby, the death of a loved one, and parents traveling are just some of the issues that most parents will face as your child grows.We have been hard at work with our friends at the Jim Henson Company in creating some adorable videos to help parents and little ones with all the big feelings that can come with life transitions!  The characters are based on the classic children’s book “The Kissing Hand,” which has been one of our favorite books to recommend to parents for the past 20 years. We are happy to share these clips and tips with our Sleepy Planet Parenting family!

5 BEST TIPS FOR HELPING YOUR CHILDREN COPE WITH DIFFICULT TRANSITIONS, FEELINGS AND SEPARATIONS
1. LISTEN AND EMPATHIZE 

First, before we can make any traction on helping the child with tools for coping with big feelings, we need to truly LISTEN to his or her feelings. Put the phone down, full attention on child and kneel down to her on her level, making eye contact and with genuine empathy-let your child know her feelings are very normal and understandable.Watch Mrs. Raccoon demonstrating listening and empathy!

Back to School Tip #1: Focus on Feelings | The Kissing Hand
Focus on Feelings | The Kissing Hand
2.  SHARE A PERSONAL STORY

Children feel reassured with a trusted grown up shares a personal story of when he/she separated from someone important and had some similar feelings to the child.Watch Mrs. Raccoon sharing her story with Chester. 
Back to School Tip: Share Your Story | The Kissing Hand
Share Your Story | The Kissing Hand
3. MAKE A BOOK WITH PICTURESOne of our favorite tools for helping kids face separation or other issues and the big feelings they can bring is to make a very simple, personalized book to read together (Stick figures will do!)

The purpose of this book is to not only empower kids by helping them understand the transition but also to give them an avenue for processing their feelings about that change.
Tell the story of the separation using simple language, and no more than one concept on each page. Avoid the temptation to tell your child not to feel sad, scared or angry; instead, give your child explicit permission to have any feelings she has, and let her know that you’ll both support her in expressing those feelings and also keep her company while she has them, without trying to “fix” or change them.  In the pages that follow, you can offer ideas for how to handle the situation (like remembering the Kissing Hand!) or a reminder to ask for help when she needs it.

Watch to see an example of a personalized book that Mrs. Raccoon made for Chester! 

 

Back to School Tip #2: Make A Book | The Kissing Hand
Make A Book | The Kissing Hand
4.  BELLY BREATHS  

Kids can learn how to regulate big feelings like anxiety by learning how to take a few slow, deep breaths. When we take a deep breath, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system, signaling a sense of safety. During a calm moment, teach your child these steps:

a.     Put one hand on your tummy and one hand over your heart.
b.    Imagine that there is a balloon inside of your belly that you are going
       to fill with air.
c.     Inhale deeply, filling the imaginary balloon in your belly with air.
        (Parent can count to 3 to help child slow down their breathing)
d.    Now exhale, letting all the air out of the balloon. (Parent can count
        backward from 3)
Practice breathing this way together often; this way, the belly breaths will already be familiar in a moment when your child is feeling upset.
Watch how you can teach your child to take belly breaths. 

Belly Breaths | The Kissing Hand
Belly Breaths | The Kissing Hand
5. GOODBYE RITUALHaving a predictable ritual (i.e. Kissing Hand) that is the same each time you separate will help your child cross the bridge from being with you to parting company. The ritual should be something that allows your child to understand how they can stay connected to you emotionally even when he can’t see you physically. While it can feel tempting to sneak out the door or avoid saying goodbye to your child at school if he often gets upset, that’s definitely not a good idea – your child needs to be able to say goodbye in order to make the transition successfully, and if you simply disappear on them, they’ll become even more anxious about separating.
 
     
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