Mindful breathing is a great trick for young people to use when they are having a tough time. It doesn’t take much time, and it can work wonders for emotional regulation. When we pay attention to our breathing and “breath on purpose”, the oxygen we take in sends our brains a message that everything is going to be ok.
"Fire Hand Breathing” incorporates fun, effective and diverse breathing “tricks” that go beyond “take a deep breath”. Follow the instructions below with your child to practice the skill of mindful, deep breathing.
Rub the palms of your hands together, back and forth, as quickly as you can
Notice the sensations in your hands and arm muscles
Focus on the strength and heat you are creating
When you feel the warmth, close your eyes
In silence, place your hands gently on top of your head
Pay attention to the transfer of warm energy between your hands and your head as you breathe in and out. Remain in this position for one minute, gently breathing.
Slowly bring your arms to your side.
Notice how your body feels as you continue to breathe in and out.
Tune In Tuesday: Identifying Feelings
When we think about “feelings”, we think most about Happiness, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust. Watch the video from the movie “Inside Out” and identify the feeling shown in each clip.
Can you come up with a time that YOU have felt each of the feelings from the clip?
Why Should I? Wednesday: Things you Can Control
We all maybe feeling a sense of no control right now. We listen daily to updates from government to tell us what we can and cannot do. We don’t know what school will look like in the future. We don’t know when we can see our friends, go to the playground or even go the mall. This may stir up a lot of feelings. Anger, annoyance, frustration, sadness. When we are feeling a sense of no control we should focus on things we can control. Sit down with your family and discuss how you feel at this time. Are you feeling a certain type of way because we have no idea what tomorrow brings? Are you feeling frustrated because you can’t hang out with your friend? Are you wondering when can I return to my school? We don’t have answers to those questions right now but when feeling out of control it’s helpful to focus on the things we can control. What are some things you can control in your life? Here are some ideas:
You Can Control:
How often you smile
When you show empathy
What to focus on in this very moment
Saying you need a break
When you listen to others
Treating others with kindness
How you hold your body (posture)
Expressing what you hope for
When you take mindful breaths
Going outside and enjoying fresh air
As a family discuss what things you can control in your home. What can you control together as a family and individually? If you need to write a list of things you can control and when you are feeling a sense of no control you will always have you list to look to.
Thoughtful Thursday: Thank a Peacemaker
Introducing young children to the concept of peace helps them return to those feelings of calm and contentedness when they experience emotional overwhelm. Linking the feeling of peace with a particular person, like a parent, teacher or friend helps reinforce for kids that they’re not alone when they need help regulating.
Read more about what peace is, who peacekeepers are, and the science behind the smiles here.
Family Fun Friday: Drip Drop Drip
Choose one player to be the Water Dripper.
All other players sit cross legged in a circle.
The Water Dripper stands outside the circle holding a cup of water (guardians get to decide how much water is in the cup).
The Water Dripper chooses a category such as colors and tells the other players. The Water Dripper then chooses a color and keeps it a secret from the other players.
The Water Dripper walks around the circle stopping at each player.
When the Water Dripper stops at a sitting player, that player calls out a color.
If the sitting player calls out a different color than the Water Dripper’s secret color, the Water Dripper drips a little bit of water from the cup on her head and moves on to the next player.
If the sitting player calls out the same color as the Water Dripper’s secret, the Water Dripper drops the whole cup of water on her head. Then the Water Dripper and the player who guessed correctly race around the circle. The first player to get around the circle and sit in the empty spot joins the circle and the other player becomes the Water Dripper.