Well-being Activity Week 6
Many of these activities will have an accompanying demonstration video you will be able to find on the Unlocking Potential Youtube Channel. We hope you enjoy receiving our Weekly Well-being activities and find them useful!
The UK’s “lockdown” has meant that we all have to stay in our homes so much more! This is a fun game that your child can do on their own, or you can do with them – spotting London wildlife from your window or on a walk in the neighbourhood.
This is an easy breathing technique that can help you and children feel calmer and more in control of your feelings when you get overwhelmed. Watch the demonstration video below.
Yoga gets you moving, improves your strength and flexibility and can be used as a self-calming technique. Watch this video with your children below to help them learn 4 new yoga poses that they can do from a chair!
1) Act Calm
It can be really overwhelming when faced with your child in the middle of a meltdown. They may be refusing to listen, screaming, or even hitting. It is hard to feel calm during this, but if you can manage to act calm then this will set an example to your child about how to respond to stressful situations. It will also show them that you are there for them and you can safely support them though this tricky moment. If you don’t manage it, don’t beat yourself up, use it as an opportunity to talk through why you got upset, name the big feelings you were experiencing and show them how to say sorry.
2) Ask what they need
This one seems simple, but we can often forget in the moment to just check-in and see what it is they need from you. Asking things like ‘how can I help?’ and ‘what do you need me to do?’ can help them feel like you are in it together. Maybe they need space? Maybe they need a hug? Each child and situation will be different so take a moment to let them tell you. During calm times try to teach them how to use ‘I’ sentences. This can be done by example when you say ‘I am feeling frustrated by you not picking up your toys’ or by helping them re-frame what they are saying, ‘I feel angry when you make me tidy my room’.
3) Validate them
When your child is in the middle of these big feelings, let them know you can really see how they are feeling. Using sentences like ‘I can see that you are angry’ and ‘I can hear you are feeling upset’ will acknowledge their experience and this will go a long way to helping them begin to regulate themselves. Try to avoid asking them to ‘calm down’ as this tells them that their feelings are too big and inappropriate. Big feelings are important, they inform us of our needs and beliefs. You can let them know it’s ok to feel those strong feelings but remind them that certain behaviours are not ok.
4) Give them space
Neuroscience has shown us that when we are overwhelmed and reacting from our core emotions, the rational part of our brain shuts down. When your child is having a meltdown, they cannot hear your reasoning until that rational part of the brain is back online. Wait until they are feeling calmer before you try to talk through what has happened. Every child will need something different; some will want to be alone, others will want a hug. Letting them have this moment and waiting until they can come back to you calm, means when they do, they will be ready to really connect and talk things through.
5) Prepare them
Big feelings are a significant part of what makes us who we are, they are vital in informing us about what is important to us and what we believe in. As adults, we understand that we need to regulate these feelings and manage the way we express them. Children are still learning. You can help them with this by talking to them about big feelings when they are in a calm space. Helping them recognise their own feelings, showing them that adults, including you, also have these big feelings. Alongside this, you can teach them calming techniques. If you have a look on our YouTube channel, you can see some of our videos on mindfulness, chair yoga and figure of 8 breathing. Having these tools to use when feeling overwhelmed will enable your child to feel more in control during those out-of-control moments.
This short mindfulness session is suitable for adults and children. We will be working with sound as a tool to anchor attention in the present moment. Watch below.