Making a plan to stay calm


Making a plan to stay calm

Being one step ahead of our children’s behaviours can often be a task in itself! No matter what age, stage or phase our children are at, there will be moments when they struggle to manage the big feelings or to keep calm when those overwhelming emotions spill over.  We also know, as a parent, it’s not just the children that need that extra support – the majority of parents will admit that they too find it a challenge to ‘keep their cool’ or to stay patient, particularly when we feel like our buttons are being pushed.  Often it helps to think about what triggers these behaviours, as well as how to approach and support our children when they do appear to lose control.

Our approach can often influence how a situation escalate or calms,  although tantrums and testing the boundaries are just part of growing up and are tough on everyone, I will take you through some ideas of what we can do to keep the calm or at least try to stay in control when it all goes belly up!

Where does it all come from?

Although it can be difficult, it is important to see the world from our child’s point of view; understanding and empathising with our children can help us to cope better with challenging situations.  Remember that most young children do not intentionally set out to act up and upset the adults (although some of you may strongly disagree with that point!). They really are just thinking only about their own needs and sometimes needs to test how far they can go before trouble strikes.

As every parent knows their own child best, you can probably see that much of your children’s behaviour is determined by their level of development. When they get frustrated or don’t get their own way, children act on their impulses and are not able to rationalise and self-regulate the way adults can; we can then see their emotions spill over and our children may lose control as they struggle to remain calm.  As adults, we generally know what we need to do when we get really upset or stressed, many parents say that they find going for a walk, stepping away from the situation and taking deep breaths can help to relieve stressful situations. Our children do not have the same awareness so we need to help our children find ways to calm themselves because this is something that will stand to them in a very positive way as they grow up.

Naming the feelings

When you see a situation begin to simmer or feel like it’s gone beyond recovery, resist the natural instinct to ask your child “what’s wrong” or “how are you feeling” (the likelihood is they won’t know what to say). You might try instead to identify and name the feelings for them; for example “I know that you are really cross that you can’t go outside but it’s time to get ready for bed” or “I can see you are really angry because you can’t have the toy in the shop”. Naming their emotions is not going to stop things instantaneously but it can often diffuse a situation while also helping the child identify their feelings in the moment and manage the big emotions.

Encourage a quiet space versus timeout

Both children and adults sometimes need to find a quiet space, away from an argument or emotional-charged situation, no matter what age we are. Try to give your child the option to ‘cool down’ or take a break and come back to the discussion when they have had some time to think alone. The more your child can identify that this quiet space is a positive option, the more beneficial it can be for the family, for example a pop up tent or a large beanbag can work as a physical representation of their quiet space. Very often adults are quick to send children out to the ‘naughty step’ as a means to calm down but I never recommend this as I don’t believe it works.  Offering your child this quiet space when it’s getting all too much can be a gentle alternative, again it may not ‘work’ on the first suggestion but continue to offer your child this space and it may just click with them.

And breathe…

I know this is talked about a lot but if our children learn to recognise that breathing will help their growing bodies relax at times of stress this provides them with a way of coping when their emotions spill over.   Help your child while sitting with them face to face, show them how to breathe in through their nose and out through their mouth – breath with them, slowly and calmly. Try to show that they can regain control. The more you practice this together the more they can identify with breathing as a helpful cool-down method, and they might begin to use it in their own time without any grown-ups taking over.

Our children need us to guide them through the tough times, helping them to keep as calm as possible, they rely on us to be in control – this is OK.  Like anything it takes time, effort and a lot of perseverance!

Aoife Lee is Parent Coach to Giraffe Childcare. She is a mother of two children under the age of seven, she is an accredited parent and life coach and is founder of Parent Support.  She facilitates parenting groups & talks in child care settings as well as providing staff training and private consultations with professionals in the child care field and for parents in their own home. 


November Developmental Evenings

Learning to Learn Every Day All of our centres are currently hosting parent developmental evenings. The parent evenings are an excellent opportunity for parents to discuss these records with their child’s key carers, and to look at their child’s holistic development linked to the Aistear curriculum themes : ·         Exploring and Thinking ·         Well Being ·        […]

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

Read More

Halloween @ Giraffe

Halloween is the time when scary skeletons, spooky ghosts and wicked witches roam the world. All of the Giraffe centres enjoyed the build up to Halloween last week, and the children and staff certainly got into the spirit of the festivities! The children were delighted to dress up for the whole day for their Halloween parties. For […]

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Read More

Giraffe Training Academy – Preschool carers Seminar

A team Workshop focusing on the Preschool learning environment.

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Read More

Easy Ideas for Halloween Costumes

Halloween is just around the corner and it’s time to prepare! Whether you’re invited to a party, you’re planning on going trick or treating, or whether you’ll just be hanging out at home, kids just love to dress up for this special occasion. Here are some ideas for easy homemade costumes that won’t break the […]

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Read More

Summertime Fun @ Giraffe

Here are the highlights from our Summer Festivals in 2017!

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Read More

Our Wonderful Giraffe Graduates

Congratulations to the 2017 Preschool Graduates! Here are some photos that capture the excitement of the most recent celebrations.

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Read More

Risky Play – Teaching our children to trust themselves

Learning through play

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Read More

Travelling with Tots

Some helpful travel tips

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Read More

Making reading fun

Reading is an intrinsic part of our culture and a life skill.

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Read More

Children’s Books We Love

It’s never too early to foster a love of books with your child. Stories will teach them all they need to know about the world they live in,

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Read More

A parent’s guide to heuristic play and treasure baskets

What is Heuristic Play?

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Read More

Beating the winter bugs

Tips for preventing cold and flus this winter

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Read More

Parent Night with Aoife Lee

We recently held a special informational evening with our Parent Coach, Aoife Lee of Parent Support. The topic of the parent discussion was “Managing Change Together -Settling into Crèche, Moving Rooms and Preparation for School”. Our parents had provided feedback over the last few months on what they found were some of the more challenging aspects of parenting. […]

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Read More

Summer festival Fun at Giraffe

Summer is festival time in Giraffe! The children look forward to the Summer Festivals every year, and every Giraffe Centre hosts different events through the summer months. This year, we saw Teddy Bear Picnics, Jungle Days, Magic Shows & Magicians, Beach days, Family BBQs and much much more! We have as many fun outdoor activities […]

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Read More

Managing Sibling Rivalry over the Christmas season

As the excitement of Christmas and Santa letters begin to ripple across homes around the country, both children and parents prepare for the build-up and giddiness that goes with it. Along with Easter and Summer time, the Christmas holidays are one of the longer spells that children are at home from school and crèche, like […]

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

Read More

13 preschoolers | 2 teachers | 2 rugby coaches|1 bodhrán player and a whole lot of fun

The children and staff at Giraffe Leopardstown host a rugby day in honour and support of the Irish Rugby team. Our Giraffe Leopardstown pre-schoolers had so much fun showing their support by preparing rugby related artwork and learning ‘Irelands Call’ assisted by their teachers, Ciara O’Reilly and Ivonne Gonzalez. Our deputy manager, Roisin Byrne, accompanied […]

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Read More

The A to Z of Getting Fit with Your Children

If you’re a parent, then you know it’s a constant challenge to balance keeping the kids both healthy and entertained at the same time! That’s why we at Giraffe Childcare have come up with a clever, informative and adorable infographic, titled The A-Z of Getting Fit with Your Children. From Football to Yoga, Playgrounds to […]

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Read More

Planning for the Potty

Planning for the potty is all about timing… it’s when your child is ready! You will know when the time is right when your child has developed enough physical skills to be able to walk and climb the stairs, to wash their own hands, and are showing an interest in what is happening in the […]

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Read More
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons
X
- Enter Your Location -
- or -