If your child learns the right skills, they can calm down in 30 seconds!
What are these skills?
You learned them a long time ago!
Let's pretend that your best friend cancels your lunch and shopping plans (that you made a month ago) at the last minute.
Her sister-in-law is in town and has invited the family to brunch …. and she has to go.
You already have the babysitter lined up AND you are dressed and looking forward to a day out.
You understand the conflict..but you can't help that feeling..you know.. the one that makes you want to scream: "But I NEVER get to have girl time anymore!"
So what do you do?
You don't yell at your friend. Instead, you say "I understand, maybe next time."
You take a deep breath in, maybe take a sip of coffee or go go on a walk around the block. Eventually, you calm down and move on...because hey… it’s your best friend and it's not her fault.
Once you are calm and thinking clearly, come up with a wonderful way to spend your day doing something else (you can't let a pre-scheduled babysitter go to waste!)
You knew how to:
- Calm Down
- Communicate your feelings
- Problem -Solve!
Why can't your kids do that too?
Why is it that when Johnny wants the yellow cheese instead of the white, he lets out a blood curling scream?
How come Annie falls on the floor kicking and screaming when she doesn't want to put her shoes on?
When adults calm down, we tap into a part of our brains called the prefrontal cortex (PFC). In the medical world this part of our brain is in charge of complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, and moderating our social behavior.
In short - this part of our brain allows us to understand the situation and come up with a solution. Kids are born with a brain so they should be able to do this too right??
Nope! Sadly, the prefrontal cortex isn't fully developed until we are 25 years old!
Oh MY Word! 25 years? (Now you know why it's so scary when we hand over car keys to a teenager!)
So what do we do now???
We have to teach our children how to manage their feelings in a positive way.
Tantrums are terrifying to children.
Tantrums occur when your child looses control of their feelings and don't know what to do.
They react by throwing objects (that they are frustrated with), hitting the toddler sitting next to them (because they are in their space) or running the other direction when mom says it’s time to leave the park (and they don't want to.)
As adults, we respond to situations. We take the time to calm down and think of a way we can fix the problem at hand.
The Soothing Sammy System teaches young children how to calm down, communicate and problem solve in a way that is easy for them to remember and simple for parents to implement.
Sammy was created by Jeana Kinne, an Early Childhood Specialist, who wanted to teach children how to calm down in a way they understand. She created the Soothing Sammy Program!
1. READ "SOOTHING SAMMY"
In the children's book, Sammy, a golden retriever, helps children calm down by allowing them to borrow a variety of items he has in his home (a cup with juice, a happy pictures, a place to jump and more.)
2. BUILD SAMMY'S HOUSE
Follow the instructions in the back of the book to create a real life version of Sammy's house, with Sammy plush dog (included).
3. PREVENT TANTRUMS
Redirect children to Sammy's house for "Sammy Time" when they feel upset or overwhelmed. When children see Sammy in his home, they instantly remember the story. This simple visual cue reminds children what calm down strategies they need to use.
4. HELP THEM PROBLEM SOLVE
Once calm, ask them why they feel the way they feel and come up with a solution. (Included emotions activities will help!)
The story, plush dog, parent guide and Sammy home teaches your child how to communicate their feelings and solve the problem.