Through our experience with many families, children and adults we have found certain activities help as a therapy. Therapy as in not feeling in a therapy session.
First of all it is helpful information to understand that every child learns by watching the adults around them. They learn how to deal with stress, communication, success and fear. Adults never do anything wrong, they only know what to do at the time and how they were taught.
Society has taught us many unspoken words, actions and ways to process situations. From not saying how you feel, reacting, crying, shouting to self belief and confidence. Children need to play to process their emotions and a ‘safe’ place to go to when they need to calm down.
Build a den in the bedroom or part of the house. This can be quite a fun activity.
What to put in the den:
A heavy blanket (studies show that this brings comfort and feeling of safety)
Images and pictures on how to speak how they feel or tips and techniques to calm down
Example: Breathing in through your nose and out your mouth quickly, clapping your hands to even screaming in a pillow for as long as they need it.
A picture inviting you to sit with them or without them
A picture to speak to you or to sit in silence
They can hang this on the outside of their door to give them space
Set up rules to the den. Example: people can only enter if invited
Routine with pictures:
When children know what they are doing and when they can add to their social life.
Fun activities after a day at school:
Depending on what type of day your child has had at school – this of course you can ask your child. If they are coming home frustrated, a great way to release stress is to go to the play park on the way home from school. Most parents say that they walk home or go straight home. If you can introduce playing at the park it reduces internal stress from school.
How does this help?
Swinging, sliding, climbing, rolling on the grass are all ways for children to ‘numb’ their stimulated thinking that has been happening the whole day at school. When they can concerntrate on anything but school for at least 30 minutes a day – it gives their brain space to breathe and release frustration. Many times parents have said that it disrupts their schedule or extra activities. The point is, if something is not working, change it. The timing is very important too because it gives the brain oxygen to circulate blood and break the ‘logic’ long day. Try change the time you introduce activities by introducing it straight after school. 60 minutes is the ultimate time frame, but this can be split through out the day.
Types of activities:
Types of activities to introduce are activities that give the brain space to breathe, not think or process or solve. We refer to these activities as destructive activities. If children are coming home to create or attend activities that are building with a thinking process, it can trigger imbalance and reactive behavior. Being out of structure for some time gives the brain a healthy balance