3 Ways "Soothing Sammy" Saves My Sanity (From a Mom of 5 kids!)

As a mom of five, 4 of them being six and under, our home can be anything but soothing at times. From being a referee of, “He’s in my space!” to a toy protection officer, I’ve always known there had to be ways to keep the peace and foster skills that would follow my children for life. Sometimes a simple, “Stop, quit, or no.” will suffice, but there are times when much more effort has to be put out. Enter the Soothing Sammy program.

Just the other day my two sons were fighting over a truck. Yelling began, then the use of hands. I first reminded them that we should try to talk about it before getting upset and wanting to yell. We sat down with Sammy in tow and discussed appropriate words to say to one another. The child with the dog was able to speak and the other had to listen. By the end of the conversation they were apologizing and gave another a hug.

 

3 Ways We Use Soothing Sammy in Our Home

We’ve had Sammy in our home for a couple years now and the concept is still providing new ways of learning and bonding. Even in times when I’m inconsistent (by nature), Sammy still comes to the rescue! Here are some actual ways we benefit from the Soothing Sammy program.

1. Sammy makes calming down a reality.

For starters, the book isn’t just some cute little story with flashy colors to keep kid’s attention. Nope. The story actually has points that even my 2 year old can understand, which is why we are reading it on average once a week. My children never get tired of hearing it. When we gather around to read it, my children are actually calm.

My six-year old who’s picking up on reading can read some of the words, while my two middle boys (ages 2 and 4) point to the pictures and ask questions. We also talk about things Sammy shows us about our behavior. I say “our” because sometimes mama can throw a fit to (let’s be honest). 

Overall, when reading this story, my children are genuinely calm. They also like to take turns holding Sammy. It took a few reads for me to realize that I needed a system (or either 3 more Sammy stuffed animals), but we’ve fined tuned our sharing Sammy skills so far. 

2. Sammy has become a reward for good behavior.

I’m sure it’s written somewhere that we shouldn’t entice children into good behavior, but in this case, being able to babysit, sleep with, or hold Sammy (the plush dog) has totally become a reward in our home. If I see one of my children showing self-control over their emotions, not throwing a fit, or actively trying to calm down, then they get time with Sammy.

Like last week when my daughter was upset that she couldn't draw a picture a certain way. We pulled out Sammy and his house and thought of ways we could react differently. After a few deep breaths she was ready to draw her picture, and Sammy was right by her side!

Just like most skills learned in life, behaviors are taught/learned skills as well. If using the Sammy stuffed animal works as a way to help reiterate what my husband and I are teaching our children, then you better believe we’ll use it! We have seen it become an encouragement factor and that our children are driven to behave better because they know they’ll get to babysit Sammy.

3. The parent guide is an awesome reminder.

Although this is more for me (and my husband), it has a direct effect on our children because we’re literally pulling amazing tips from the parent guide to use with them. The guide offers some great suggestions for:

  • Sharing space with children.
  • Encouraging our children to listen.
  • Helping our children work through showing their emotions.
  • Showing our children how to keep from getting frustrated.

And this is just a few of them. I often find myself telling my children to count to a certain number, or to do some jumping jacks and stretches. These quick go-to actions show them how to use their pinned up energy in a positive way instead of angrily through their hands or words. As comical as it may sound, I also catch my children using some of these tips on one another. 

It gives me hope that they’re actually taking it in and helping one another when the situation calls for it. Having Soothing Sammy in our home has been so beneficial. I highly recommend that every mom with small children get one of these programs!

Written by: Michelle Huddleston, MA- Mother of an infant, 2 year old, 4 year old, 6 year old and 12 year old


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