Create a calming corner for you and your little to retreat to in times of overwhelm. Calm Corners may be used to foster self-regulation, emotion identification, conflict/resolution skills, connection and gratitude.
Big emotions are difficult to deal with, no matter how small your child is. Whether it is Back-to-School or Back-to-Schedule, we know the end of summer bubbles up all types of feelings from our little ones. From anxious tummies and big emotional eruptions, we want to help you tackle those emotions and nerves with parent & child rituals that create moments to connect on feelings.
One tactic we love is the creation of a calm or comfy corner. This is a place in your home where you and your little can retreat to in times of overwhelm. Calm Corners may be used to foster self-regulation, emotion identification, conflict/resolution skills, connection and gratitude. Below are three simple steps you can follow to bring this practice into your own home.
Create a safe space for your child to go to when they feel big emotions bubbling up and need to regain emotional control. Create the space with the intent to promote mindfulness, breathing and reflection.
- Designate a space in your home that provides a quiet environment to promote a soothing & calming atmosphere for emotional reflection.
- Make it special to your little one with comfortable objects such as a bean bag, pillows, soft rug, small tent/teepee, their favorite blanket, or stuffed animals.
While your littles are calming down, it’s essential that you also regulate yourself during this time. The following ideas can be used by both parent and child:
- Deep Breaths:
For Little, teach them early about breathwork! While you apply the Fussy Temper Comfort with X’s and O’s, encourage them to breathe in the calming scent of herbs & flowers.
For Parent, try a grounding breath visualization. Begin by noticing the surface under your feet. Notice the texture, the temperature and how your weight is distributed below. Imagine that there are roots from your favorite tree that begin to grow from the base of your feet and connect you to the surface below. These roots hold you, connect you, support you. Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly and breath in for a count of four, holding your breath at the top for a count of four, and then exhale for a count of four. Breathe in grounding, breathe out stress. Repeat 3 times.
Together, Gently roll X’s and O’s on the back or chest of your little one. Practice 10 deep breaths with them. Breathe out on X and in on O.
Want to learn more deep breathing techniques?
Head to the Mindful Mamas app and try one of these breathing courses:
- Release your worries:
For little, use coloring books, construction paper, or notebooks as a tool for them to draw & express the emotions they are feeling by naming them.
For parent, journal or move your body by stretching to release whatever strong emotions you’re feeling as well.
Together, use the Bambini Furtuna feelings chart to share with each other how you are feeling and why. Download Feelings Chart.
Return to your calm center:
For Little, read a book, hug a stuffed animal, watch the glitter jar, listen to calming music, or do a quiet fine motor activity like play dough.
Together, shift into a positive mindset using the Bambini Furtuna gratitude journal. Fill out a page on all things you both are grateful for during this time.
The Calm corner is always open.
Tell your child that this space is always open. Encourage them to play in the space when they are feeling calm AND relax in when they are feeling angry, sad or overwhelmed.
There is no such thing as bad feelings.
Convey that all feelings are welcome and needed. They help tell us helpful information (i.e. when our feelings are hurt, when we are hungry, when we need to rest).
Practice emotion identification.
This can be done through emotion flash cards, looking in a mirror and practicing different facial expressions, or by reading a book and discussing how each character feels in the book.