About Soothing Sammy
Are you tired of turning on the news and being bombarded with stories about violence? Psychologists hope that if children learn how to manage their emotions at a young age, they will be able to respond more positively to stressful situations as adults. How are we supposed to teach our children how to cope with their feelings?
According to Robert Plutchick, professor emeritus at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, more than 90 different emotions have been identified.
Wow! Imagine being a little person experiencing all of these feelings.
Close your eyes and think about something that made you mad or frustrated. How do you feel when you think about it? Does your heart start racing? Do your hands clench a little? Is your internal temperature rising?
Now, open your eyes! What do you do to calm down? Most people use sensory strategies to regroup - such as sipping coffee, chewing gum, going on a walk/run or smelling essential oils.
When your child gets upset or overwhelmed, they feel the same way. Unfortunately, humans aren’t born knowing how to cope with strong emotions. Through life experiences, you have found what techniques work for you.
When children feel their body start to “fume” they react. Reactions don’t involve thinking about WHY they feel the way they feel. This is why you see young children 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.
What do you do in this situation? The initial response I hear from parent’s are: “I try to talk to them.” This approach doesn’t work often. Your child is overwhelmed and doesn’t hear a word that you are saying.
So what is the answer? Give them time to process their feelings and provide them with ways they can calm down independently. Once calm, they will be ready to have a conversation with you.
How is my child supposed to calm down on their own?
After spending over 15 years working with children, I couldn’t find anything written for children that teaches these skills in a hands-on way. This is why I created the “Soothing Sammy Kit.” Soothing Sammy teaches children how to process their feelings, identify their emotions and problem solve in a way that is EASY for children to understand and SIMPLE for parents to implement!
Three-Part Soothing Sammy Kit
1."Soothing Sammy" children's story. The colorful photos and simple story is perfect for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary aged children. In the story, children who are upset visit Sammy, a golden retriever, at his dog house. Sammy, teaches them simple calm-down techniques, how to identify why they were mad and talks them through their frustrations.
2. Sammy the Plush dog. A machine washable plush dog (11.5” L x 3”W x 10” H) brings the Soothing Sammy book to life. The children’s book includes instructions on how to create a house for Sammy (resembling the house in the children’s book) and fill it with the calm down items described in the book (such as a wash cloth, empty cup, crunchy snack, a family photo and more).
3.An 80-page parent guide. Learn how to prevent your child from becoming frustrated in everyday situations (such as transition times, sharing space and toys, listening and following directions, going on a long car ride, etc.) This book contains activities, instructions and parent reflection sections.
The Soothing Sammy Kit teaches children how to manage their emotions in a way they will understand, remember and implement. If your child becomes upset, redirect them to the Sammy house they built. Once calm, read the Soothing Sammy together. Use the questions at the end of the story to help your child identify why they are mad, how to fix the problem and how to prevent it from happening again in the future!
The children's book, along with Sammy the plush dog and parent guide, creates a complementary set of tools that supports your child's emotional development. Sammy's techniques give children the confidence to manage their emotions.
What our families have said:
“Parenting is hard work! Children do not come with instructions, so knowing how to handle their emotional needs is so hard. Thanks to Soothing Sammy I am better equipped to help my children through their melt-downs and tantrums. Since grabbing this set I have seen not only a difference in my children but a difference in how I handle them in the hard moments. I definitely recommend this set to every parent.” – Stephanie
“My daughter and I had fun reading and building Sammy’s house. She loves Sammy! So far it has helped her feel better when upset. She has chosen something to crunch on when mad and then hugging Sammy when sad. We keep it i the living room where she will hopefully continue to use it.” - Jennifer
About the Author – Jeana Kinne, MA is an Early Childhood Developmental Specialist. She has worked as a parent educator, Preschool Director and Early Intervention Specialist with children with special needs. She loves working with families, providing them with solutions to common parenting concerns, resulting in stress-free parenting!