We all have feelings of nervousness and those feelings can dictate the rest of our day if we allow them. It is essential that we demonstrate healthy ways of managing those feelings! Here are a few ways to navigate and PREVENT feelings of nervousness with your kiddos.
Routines Are Key
Creating a steadfast routine helps minimize unnecessary stress for you and for your Kiddos. It may take a few tries to perfect a routine, but the effort will pay off! What time is breakfast, lunch, dinner? Choose a time that makes the most sense for your family. Sit down together, if even for just a few moments. This allows for a reset, creates family bonds, and instills a sense of calm.
Set clear expectations and create a daily routine that you stick to as closely as possible. Kiddos need stability. You may find they are much calmer just because they know what to expect each part of the day!
Breathe In, Breathe Out
How many times have you been told, “take a deep breath”, during a stressful situation? There is science behind this! Deep breathing actually shuts down our body’s “fight or flight” reaction. When our kiddos are displaying feelings of nervousness, deep and controlled breathing can help them regain control of their feelings. Rather than telling your kiddo “take deep breaths”, begin breathing deeply, slowly, and calmly yourself. Demonstrating is often more powerful than words! Well done…you are giving them a tool that allows them to regain control of their feelings.
Sound Rather Than Silence
If your kiddo has a hard time calming down and finding focus, try the magic of sound. Music is wonderful and there are many genres to choose from. One of my children could only be soothed by jazz when he was a toddler! But what about colorful “noise”? No really! It is quite fascinating. Pink, white, brown, green…they are all forms of sound “masking”. Basically, these colorful sounds block out unpleasant sounds so your kiddo can relax. Try the different sounds and see which one is most soothing to your child.
What is that smell?
Just as certain smells can repulse, many can soothe the soul and calm the spirit. Citrus, lavender, camomile, and rose are just a few of the scents that may help calm your kiddo and help them refocus their energy. Try putting a few drops of oil on your hands and guiding your kiddo in a few deep breaths. It may help to strategically scent their arm or tissue before sending them off to school. This empowers them to soothe themselves when those feelings of nervousness hit.
Dance, Baby, Dance
Movement is key when those nervous feelings sneak in. Dancing and moving your body releases dopamine and endorphins. Once again, the key to that pesky nervousness is science! Teach your kiddo to battle those icky feelings by dancing, or jumping and twisting, or just swinging their arms back and forth, crossing their midline. Do it with them!
The most important thing to remember is your kiddo is watching you and learning. How you handle stressful situations will guide them in how to handle their own situations. Your energy becomes their energy. Let’s work on building strong, healthy, kiddos by giving them the tools they need to face those not-so-great moments and turn them into fun memories because they faced it with song, sound, scents, and dancing!