Monday, November 23, 2015

Stay in the Play with Your Kids

Want to "Stay in the Play" with your kiddos? It's an important thing to do when we've got littles around.  Dr. Lynne (my co-author of BLOOM) served up some ideas on how you can do just that, which I wanted to share with you. 

An excerpt from her printable states: 

When parents learn to stay in the play, the play experience is more enjoyable and fruitful for all. Simply be present, stay with the theme and when you are not sure what to say or do next, be quiet and wait for the next verbal prompt form your child. Childern know how to play. They will lead the way.

Find the full PDF printable with several ideas and examples HERE. While I was pondering this notion of play, a timely message came across my desk from an affilate program, that wooden toys by Hape are HALF OFF today only, while supplies last (yep, it even includes the cute toy town pictured above!) I clicked through and found these lovely little gems, and I'll be, they really were HALF OFF! If you're budgeting, like most of us are, and you've got some preschoolers to buy for this holiday season, you may wish to check it all out! The savings can really add up, especially if you take advantage of the free shipping (special restrictions apply).

Here's to a lifetime of play for all of us!

And if you're looking for more ways to promote social-emotional 
development, be sure to check out resources...there's a big sale
going on NOW!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Conflict, Anger and the Truth!

The Truth About Conflict and Anger

The truth about conflict and anger is that they are merely a part of life. They only have as much power over us as we let them. That's the short story.

Digging Deeper: It's Human Nature

If we dig a little deeper, we can see what's going on behind the scenes. Wherever two or more of us are gathered, there is bound to be conflict. It's human nature. It's also human nature to want to be understood, to feel like people "get us", to have our standpoint recognized and validated. To feel heard. When we can start to do this in our families and classrooms, as well as offer support and a chance to work things through, conflict and anger have less of a hold on us. They will rear their ugly heads less often and more peace and harmony can replace it. Really.

How do I know this is true? 

Because I've seen it happen over and over again. Once parents understand the role of conflict and anger, once they look at it from a different perspective...once they can see them for what they really are, and lessen the grip they have...amazing changes can take place in families. It's not pie in the sky stuff. It's not feel-good, wishful thinking. It's backed by solid research and transformation for your family awaits in an easy read that is already being used in thousands and thousands of homes and classrooms.

We May Have Been Going About This All Wrong

It seems that as parents, and as a society as a whole, we strive to silence conflict and anger. We want to hide it in a back-room somewhere, as if it should be kept under wraps, obscured from everyone's view...and out of earshot. We see at as an ugly side of human nature, buts that's just because of what we ascribe to it. What if, instead, we started looking at anger and conflict as mere bits of information that something is amiss, and as a sign we need to right it?

Part of the reason we try to sweep anger and conflict under the carpet is because of the emotion it stirs up in us. We feel uncomfortable. We don't want to be inconvenienced with squabbles and disagreements. We aren't sure if we have what it takes to "make it all better", or at the very least, to "make it all stop". In some cases, we were never taught the skills in our own families, and maybe the sound of anger and conflict makes us want to run for the hills...or at least lock ourselves in the bathroom.  And in some families, the anger and conflict just plays over and over like a broken record. It's exhausting.

The Fix

The fix is a three-step dance that has to be played over and over again, until it sinks in. Until it makes a difference. Until we are so practiced at it as a family or classroom, that it becomes our natural response. And that it how change occurs.

Here are the three steps:

1. Change what you say. What you say as a parent or teacher can amp up a situation or help it settle down. We have to choose our words wisely. What we say makes all the difference. Training for parents and teachers that quiets the defensive brain in children (and other adults) is just beginning to surface. Will what you say be like water on a grease fire or a more calming baking soda sprinkle? When handling a grease fire, there is a reason there are DO's and DON'Ts. It's the same with handling anger and conflict. When we apply the right intervention, better outcomes occur. At a loss for how to change up your words? This can help!

2. Change what you think. Your thoughts create your reality and if your immediate internal response when the kids start up with bickering is, "HERE WE GO AGAIN," I know you will benefit from changing your thoughts and perspective. What if instead of the "here we go again", your brain automatically went to, "What kind of help do they need from me? What skills do I need to teach them to solve this?"

3. Change what you do. To make this even more powerful, we need to pull in some things that we can offer kids to do that will help calm the defensive brain/the limbic system. I do these things over and over again in my office with kids, especially when they are sent to me in a "bad space", "all amped up" or "locked and loaded". Activities that calm the emotional brain and bring the neocortex back online make a HUGE difference in the outcome for challenging situations. Physical activity can help calm and organize the brain so we make our interventions "stick". Need specific ideas? BLOOM is loaded with ideas.

The steps are easy...they are repeatable and together, they provide the antidote to dealing with tough times in homes and classrooms. What works best in your classroom or home?

Need More Ideas/Activities?

Calming limbic systems is BIG work. 
We know this. It's our life's work
here at Kidlutions.
Get help, you are not alone. 
We've several resources and supports that can help you in your home or classroom. 

Right now, several of our resources 
are on sale for up to 
Yup...up to 50% OFF!


Here's to happier homes 
and classrooms EVERYWHERE!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Join the Kindness Revolution

On the heels of what's happened in Paris and in other places in the world, my heart just feels MORE tied to my life's work of teaching solid social-emotional skills, kindness, compassion and understanding. It's our only hope, as far as I can tell. Peace starts at home and ripples outwards.

If pictures, memes, You Tube Videos, dance moves and music can go viral via social media, why can't peace? I know this is an oversimplification, but it's a start. And I know that together we will just put a dent in it, but we have to do something.

Let's Pay Attention to the Good Stuff

How about if we facebook, instagram, tweet and pin our kids and families doing kind, compassionate and uplifting things? You know...sharing, helping, honoring, assisting, listening, being patient/waiting, taking turns, etc, etc, etc. How about that? 

What if we stopped complaining for a minute and started REALLY paying attention to the things we want to see more of? What if we put ALL THE GOOD STUFF on social media for everyone to see? What would happen then? We cannot change the world overnight. It's pretty clear. But we can have a change of hearts in our own homes and classrooms. Let's do it, okay? You and me and the people we know. 

Hashtag your good stuff with #peacekidlutions and tag us @kidlutions! I'll be on the look-out for it! I'll be watching closely. On December 1st, I want to reward one random winner with a $50 gift coupon towards any purchase in our Kidlutions Store. The more you tweet, pin or facebook, the more chances you have to win!

What can your family do to be kind? Hmmmmmmmmmm, I can hardly wait to see what you come up with!

When news of Paris first broke, we put up a post to help you help kids deal with the aftermath. If you missed it, you can read our tips for helping kids HERE.

Take good care of each other.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Helping Children Cope with the Tragedy in Paris

As I sit in the comfort and safety of my living room, I watch the horror unfold in Paris, France. It has been far too many times that I have found myself having to post information to help young children deal with tragedies. I want NOT to have to do this again, yet there is so much hurt in our world that I know I will likely find myself tapping out a few words of support and information to help parents help their kids, yet again. I'll do it because it's necessary and because I'm compelled to do so, but I won't do it happily. It brings even more meaning to my life's work on helping to build mentally healthy, grounded and happy people through social skill building and emotional intelligence education. 

Our global world is connected at the speed of light through the magic of media, and even more so, social media. Kids are no exception to this phenomenon.

How Parents and Teachers Can Help

There are some guidelines we can follow that will help when talking to young children about the tragedy:

1. Don't Assume the Child Knows Nothing

Although you may not have told the child about the tragedy, he may have overheard adult conversations or other schoolmates discussing the situation, view a TV news bulletin or see graphic images on TV.

2. Ask

If your child begins asking questions about what happened in Paris, you will absolutely want to discuss it with him.  Ask: "What do you know?" "What did you hear?" Listen for what the child knows, so you can respond accordingly.  

3. Tell

Tell the truth, but in an age-appropriate manner.  You do not have give all of the details.  Young children benefit from hearing the basics: "A bad person hurt some people. It was scary. Lots of good people rushed in to help."

4. Be Honest

Share that a bad thing did happen, but that it is being taken care of by helper people.

5. Focus on the Positives

Focus on the "helper" people. When bad things happen, helper people come to help. Police and ambulance workers got there quickly to help the people they could. You might say,  "Lots of good people are helping the town now. Policemen, firefighters, ambulance workers, neighbors, counselors and clergy all came rushing in to help. People will be very sad. The people will help each other start to feel better."

6. Let Them Know They are Safe

Young children may think that their own personal safety is at risk. Let them know that they are safe and that things will remain the same in your community and household (if that is true). Acknowledge that it is a scary thing that happened. What happened in Paris almost never, ever, ever happens. That is the truth.  This does not constitute a "lie" to children. This situation is absolutely tragic.  Beyond comprehension.  What happened in Paris is scary, senseless and unfathomable, but statistically speaking, these types of events are rare.  This is what we want to focus on to help increase a child's sense of safety.

6. Limit Media Exposure

With cable and sattellite TV, news outlets are available 24/7. Be careful to ensure that your child is not exposed to ongoing stories about the tragedy. Young children may believe the shootings/bombings are happening over and over again, or are still going on. Best to find the news you are looking for after they are in bed, or on your computer or mobile device.

7. Be Discreet

It's normal for you to want to process this tragedy with friends and family (it's normal to talk to things over and get support from others). When you do so, make sure your children are out of earshot. Manage your own feelings and fears and take caution to make sure your children cannot hear you.

8.  Give Plenty of Hugs

Children always need physical affection, but they may need even more during times of stress or anxiety.  Hugs, back rubs and other physical activities and close contact sooth the limbic system (the "seat" of the emotions in the brain).

Join us in 

It's so important.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Thankful Freebie

 Join HERE for access to a wealth of freebies, including our Anger Toolbox for Kids. Just scroll down to find the Thankful Freebie!

Thank You!

We're so thankful for all of you! Thanks for being our companion on this journey to make the world a happier, more harmonious place by raising kids with compassion, emotional intelligence and solid problem-solving skills. Kids are our legacy and we're all in this together when it comes to creating a future that gets brighter every day. The sky's the limit when it comes to all the possibilities that exist! Whether you benefit from our freebies, read and apply the concepts in BLOOM, or complete our activity-based interventions that grow great kids, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! 


These two freebies are excerpted from our Thankful Thoughts for Kids and Teens resource. You'll note that while there is a Thanksgiving themed printable, we have also created a more generic thankful printable for use year round, or with kids who may not celebrate Thanksgiving. Honestly, around here, we think we should find gratitude every day!

Get Yours!

If you are a member of our newsletter, you'll have received the link for this freebie in our 11.13.15 newsletter. There's no need to sign-up for anything! 

Not a member? No's free to join and you'll get all of our great freebies now and in the future! Join HERE for access to a wealth of freebies, including our Anger Toolbox for Kids. Just scroll down to find the Thankful Freebie! That's right! Not only will you get this freebie...but all of the other freebies we have in the hopper!

Again, thanks for sharing the journey with us!

Check it out!
You can still get our Thankful Thoughts 
ENTIRE resource for
40% OFF!

Read More by Clicking the Image Below:

This resource is a 3-in-1 deal! All the details are available HERE!

It's not just for Thanksgiving! 
This resource also contains generic "thankful" pages for use year round! 
Why? Because gratitude should not be limited to one day!

Monday, November 2, 2015

100 Ways to Raise a Grateful Child

More than 100 Ways to Raise a Grateful Child

Most of us want to raise children who are grateful, kind and compassionate. How we treat our kids and the relationships we build with them lay the groundwork for everything in their lives. We model for them what it looks like to be grateful, kind and compassionate. The BLOOM approach is the best way I know to raise amazing people. If the approach works with angry, anxious and over-the-top kids, imagine what it can do for your child! We can also teach characteristics of gratitude and compassion to our children in intentional ways.

A Round-up of Ideas

Below, you'll find a round-up of ideas and activities that help build these skills in your own kids and in the kids with whom you work!

10 Ways to Raise a Grateful Kid PBS

5 Ways to Raise a Grateful Child Parenting

7 Ways to Raise Grateful Kids MindBodyGreen

8 Tips for Raising a Thankful Child Zero to

Part of Being Grateful Means Giving  Back

Part of being grateful means giving back and sharing the wealth in a number of ways. These next two links will provide you with some wonderful ideas. It may even help spark a few ideas of your own!

17 Ideas for Raising Grateful and Kind Kids Brad Aronson's Blog and also...

83 Randon Acts of Kindness

We think you're going to love it!

More Support to Help Kids Grow in Gratitude

A Valuable Resource You'll Use Again and Again!

Our latest resource was developed to help kids dig deep and discover, in an intentional way, the things for which they are thankful. The resource is actually 3-in-one, as it has a section for kids, a section for teens and section that's geared towards the Thanksgiving season. This product is packed full of value, because it can be used all year, with just about any population! It can even be used with entire families or groups! You are only limited by your imagination! 

Here's a Sneak Peek:


That's a 3-in-1 product with a BONUS
All the work is done for you!
Just download, print and you're off to the races!

Thankful Thoughts for Kids and Teens

Thankful Thoughts for Kids and Teens

Raising thankful kids takes effort. Concentrated effort. Daily effort. And we can't teach it if we can't do it ourselves. {Hint! Hint!} We recently shared over 100 Ways to Raise Thankful Kids and Teens and we also have a brand new resource that provides a laser-focus on this skill.

This resource is jam-packed and full of value, because it works for ALL ages...from little kids to big kids to teens and beyond! It's so versatile, you'll use it with groups, classrooms and whole families, too! Perfect for home, clinic and school use...and we envision it being used in all of those places across our lovely planet! (We jump for joy knowing our products are used in Africa, Egypt, Ireland, Australia 

This product can be printed in color (there are a few pages in full color) or print it all in black and white or grayscale to save on ink! Do as you wish! Combine pages, only pick a few pages or create a whole workbook! Personalize it by printing out several of each page, if you want to expand on things for which kids/teens are thankful, for example. Each version has space to write or draw (for more creative types or for children too young to write). 

Some of the pages relate to Thanksgiving, but we've made most pages generic so that the resource can be used year round, as well as with children/teens who do not celebrate Thanksgiving. We tried to think of everything. If we missed anything, let us know!

We even added a few BONUS pages:

We know you'll use this again and again! We can't wait to see how you'll use it!

It's NEW...It's on SALE!

Grab your copy now for HALF OFF!

It's going to sell for $12.00
(a bargain for that price since you'll use it with countless kids)
but you can snag a copy for 

Don't Pay $12.00
JUST $7.20
That's 40% Off!

Get it HERE:

                                            Add to Cart

We are thankful for YOU!

Friday, October 30, 2015

200 Ideas for a Howling Halloween

200 Halloween Ideas

Halloween is upon us and many of you may have been planning for a night of festivities for some time, while there are others thinking, "How did this sneak upon us so quickly?" If you are looking for some last minute inspiration, we've got over 200 on our Pinterest board for Halloween. Look around, you're sure to find something of interest!

Have a Happy Halloween, and be sure to keep the kids safe. 
See the tips we share from an expert HERE

Halloween Safety Tips

Safety Hazards Abound

Halloween can pose lots of safety hazards for kids, some you may not even think of. All of them are preventable, when you have the knowledge and information to keep kids safe. 

Double the Risk

Did you know...On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year? It's a fact and that's some scary stuff.

Keep Kids Out of the Emergency Room

Let's let BOO be the scariest thing we deal with this Halloween. Keep kids out of the emergency room and doctor's offices by following some simple tips. 

Expert Help

We consulted the experts over at, to bring you some of the best ideas to protect the kids you care about. 

Find it all HERE! Tips are available in Spanish, too!

Happy Halloween!

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