Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Handle #MomStress Like a Boss


Handle #MomStress Like a Boss

Stress. 

We all have it to one degree or another in our lives. Small amounts of stress have been found to be beneficial, but when stress gets out of control, we suffer. If you're a mom, that means your family suffers, too. When stress is running rampant in our lives, there is no way our significant others and kids won't feel the impact, too.

The effects of stress are far-reaching, having both mental and physical implications. It can affect our health, our memory, attitude, relationships and MORE.  It makes us less able to cope with life's little upsets. 

Here's a primer on the effects of stress:





To Every Problem, a Solution

To every problem, there is a solution. Breathing is an important first step in conquering stress and anxiety.  How we breathe influences our brain chemistry and hence, how we feel.



Here's some information on stress and breathing from our past article on teaching kids to calm down:

When we become stressed, we often breathe very shallow, filling our chests with air.  Deep breathing requires that we fill our bellies with our breath.  We should actually feel our diaphragm expand and contract when we do it right.  For kids, we can tell them to pretend they have a balloon in their belly that is filling with air when they breathe in, and that it deflates when they breathe out.  Demonstrate and practice with them, how to take deep breaths and exhale.  Encourage kids to hold to their hands on their bellies to feel them expand when they are first learning how to do this.  Repeat several times.

I have yet to meet anyone who hasn't felt somewhat better after learning how to breathe more effectively and "breathe through" stressful situations. The problem is, we often don't stop long enough to actually try it! 

Graphic floral image by freepik.com.


Below you'll find a five minute video that actually walks you through a breathing exercise by following their visual and breathing in time with it. Bookmark this post and come back whenever you need to slow down, breathe and relax! I LOVE this video, which serves as a guide to more mindful breathing, and plan on using it in session when teaching kids and teens how to breathe to calm down! You can do this along with your own kids and create a more peaceful home! Try it!

Use the visual aid in the video below 
to help you inhale and exhale more deeply, 
which, when done routinely, can help you calm down.


Let us know what you think!

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Brand NEW Resources
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Some clinicians and coaches may wish to have BOTH sets of mandalas. If you purchase BOTH sets, you get an even bigger savings. The mandalas and floral coloring pages are the same, but one set has quotes that uplift and the other set has scriptures for trying times. Each has its unique design, coordinated on both parts of the sets. 

This package is a multi-pack of first, 
our Mandalas for Moms with Quotes that Uplift set
that focuses on stress reduction with adult coloring pages,
and a coordinating BONUS booklet with stress-busting
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PLUS...

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with stress-busting tips for moms.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mandalas for Mothers: With Scriptures for Trying Times


Complete, Two-Part Program is an Instant Download. 
No Physical Product will Be Sent.

Mom Stress

Your a mom, stress is part of the package deal. But you don't have to just lie down and take it. Fight it every step of the way! There are tools that can help, and our "Mandalas for Mothers" kit is one of those tools. 

If you wish to reduce stress, focus more, calm down and think more positively...this could be just what you've been looking for! 

What's Inside

What you'll find inside this set is mandalas with scriptures for trying times. 



PLUS
a stress busting
BONUS



Add to this a 10-page BONUS booklet which explores 11 tips for more peace:

1. Be Positive
2. Avoid Comparisons
3. Say NO
4. Schedule Re-Do/To Do List Reduction
5. Engage the Kids More
6. Take Some ME Time
7. Girl Time
8. Physical Touch
9. Babysitting Exchange
10. No Gym Necessary
11. Unplug

2-in-1 Resource

This 2-in-1 resource for one low price allows you to:

Print out as many pages as you need, when you need them.

For use at home, counseling offices, coaching, mom groups, and MORE!

Although this kit is made for moms, the mandalas may be printed and used with teens and young adults, as well. 

The way you utilize this kit is up to you! You're only limited by your imagination!

What I Discovered

This past weekend, several weeks after creating this product, I was browsing in a bookstore where a HUGE display of mandalas and adult coloring books were put front and center. I flipped through a few and priced them. They were priced at 15.00 all the way up to 29.00...and that was for ONE user...one and done. Once the picture was colored, it was done. AND, there was no bonus material with stress-busting ideas! 

More Value!

I jumped for joy just a little bit inside, knowing what we were offering in our Mandala set was WAY more valuable than what was available in the stores!  Our product allows one user to make as many copies as they care to for life! Great for use with everyone in the family...or all of your clients, if you are a therapist or a coach. In fact for therapists and coaches, this product is a no-brainer as it will pay for itself after the first use!

It's NEW
and you know what 
that means!
You can get it NOW
for half-off!
This value pack will retail for
29.99
but you can get it for just 
$15.00
for a LIMITED TIME


Add to Cart

Sale ends Friday, 2/12/16
@10pm EDT

Mandalas for Moms with Quotes that Uplift


   

Complete, Two-Part Program is an Instant Download. 
No Physical Product will Be Sent.

Mom Stress

Your a mom, stress is part of the package deal. But you don't have to just lie down and take it. Fight it every step of the way! There are tools that can help, and our "Mandalas for Moms" kit is one of those tools. 

If you wish to reduce stress, focus more, calm down and think more positively...this could be just what you've been looking for! 

What's Inside

What you'll find inside this set is mandalas with quotes that uplift. 




PLUS
a stress busting
BONUS



Add to this a 10-page BONUS booklet which explores 11 tips for more peace:

1. Be Positive
2. Avoid Comparisons
3. Say NO
4. Schedule Re-Do/To Do List Reduction
5. Engage the Kids More
6. Take Some ME Time
7. Girl Time
8. Physical Touch
9. Babysitting Exchange
10. No Gym Necessary
11. Unplug

2-in-1 Resource

This 2-in-1 resource for one low price allows you to:

Print out as many pages as you need, when you need them.

For use at home, counseling offices, coaching, mom groups, and MORE!

Although this kit is made for moms, the mandalas may be printed and used with teens and young adults, as well. 

The way you utilize this kit is up to you! You're only limited by your imagination!

What I Discovered

This past weekend, several weeks after creating this product, I was browsing in a bookstore where a HUGE display of mandalas and adult coloring books were put front and center. I flipped through a few and priced them. They were priced at 15.00 all the way up to 29.00...and that was for ONE user...one and done. Once the picture was colored, it was done. AND, there was no bonus material with stress-busting ideas! 

More Value!

I jumped for joy just a little bit inside, knowing what we were offering in our Mandala set was WAY more valuable than what was available in the stores!  Our product allows one user to make as many copies as they care to for life! Great for use with everyone in the family...or all of your clients, if you are a therapist or a coach. In fact for therapists and coaches, this product is a no-brainer as it will pay for itself after the first use!

It's NEW
and you know what 
that means!
You can get it NOW
for half-off!
This value pack will retail for
29.99
but you can get it for just 
$15.00
for a LIMITED TIME


Add to Cart

Sale ends Friday, 2/12/16
@10pm EDT

Friday, February 5, 2016

Teaching Kids with ADHD About Personal Space: Birds on a Wire

Graphic image by Freepik.com

Teaching Kids About Personal Space

Defining and respecting personal space is a skill that all kids must learn. If you work with or live with kids with ADHD, you've probably come across conflict and problems related to this issue more often than you can count. In fact, if you with kids that aren't diagnosed with ADHD, you've probably come across this more often than you can count.
 
Standing too close to others, being way too up-close-and-personal when talking to someone else, touching others who don't wish to be touched: some kids have a difficult time learning about personal space, which can cause conflict as well as difficulty making friends. Learning about personal space is an important part of social skills development and success with peers.

If you know of a child who has trouble with maintaining personal space boundaries with others, there are a few tricks you can use to teach them.
 

Hula Hoops - Use Hula Hoops to define space and give a visible reminder of how much room a person needs to keep away from another. At first, you will actually need to use the actual hula hoops, to show how this principle operates. Over time, you can have kids summon up an imaginary hula hoop.
 

Painters Tape - You can also use painter's tape to mark off how much space each person needs to be comfortable. We discuss the use of painter's tape in this way in BLOOM, on our chapter about kids hitting. Parents, educators and youth works are all too familiar with the chaos that can ensue when one child invades another's personal space. Rather than play continuous referee, why not teach a skill that makes a difference?
 
 
Carpet Squares/Poly Spots - Preschool classroom teachers know this trick that makes so much sense and really helps delineate space for each child. Many teachers have each child sit on a carpet square (carpet sample) so they can get the idea of staying in their own spot and not drifting into another child's personal space. Others use Poly Spots, which can also be utilized for other creative purposes in the classroom.
 
 
Birds on a Wire - Point out that even birds respect the personal space of their fellow feathered friends. Point out how birds keep a distance from each other when sitting on a wire. Are there other examples in nature you can think of to use that would model appropriate spacing?
 

Here are some children's books
that help with personal space:
 
Personal Space Camp
 
 
Personal Space Camp Activity and Idea Book

 
 
Kindergators: Hands Off, Harry!

 
Violet Mackerel's Personal Space
 

 
 
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How Do You Teach About Personal Space?
 
These are just a few ways to help kids learn about personal space. How do you teach kids about personal space? Do you have a special trick or tip? We'd love to hear about it below in our comments!
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


If you need resources to help you help your kids navigate the trickier, more challenging things in life...find help in our "Feelings Shop" of digital downloads at: bitly.com/kidsfeelings

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD, is  the founder of Kidlutions and co-author of BLOOM: 50 Things to Say, Think and Do with Anxious, Angry and Over-the-Top Kids. She is the creator of numerous workbooks and resources to help from the preschool through the teen years. Follow her on PinterestInstagramTwitter and Facebook! She'd love to see your smiling face there!


 


Friday, January 22, 2016

Helping Kids Survive and Thrive Through Divorce: 7 Ways



Helping Kids Survive and Thrive Through a Divorce: 7 Ways

While it’s easier said than done, there are some ways to help kids cope with your divorce.  You may not be able to follow all of these tips, due to your own unique circumstances, but you may be able to pick a few.  That can make a huge difference for kids. Every effort you put forth to support your child and make their needs a priority will pay dividends in their future well-being.

Home Sweet Home

You can do yourself and your children a huge favor if you are able to keep some elements the same during and after your divorce. If possible, one parent should remain in the family home with them. This way they aren’t being uprooted from everything they know. Financially, this scenario isn’t always possible and a move is inevitable.

School Rules

If your children are school aged, it is best if you can keep them in that school. If circumstances beyond your control dictate that both parents move, try to arrange it so that they can remain in the same school district.

Divorce brings about multiple changes and it is a challenge for children to deal with multiple transitions at one time (the same goes for you). Try to limit as many changes as you can during the divorce, so that your children can hold on to the pieces of stability that are left for them.

Family Connection

It can get tricky where family and friends are involved. While it may be unnerving for you to help the kids keep a relationship with your ex’s side, it is important to do so. There may be times when you find yourself in uncomfortable situations in order to help your kids maintain contact with important people in their lives.  Keep in mind that awkwardness wears off over time, and relationships with family are worth it!

Keepin’ It Real with Rituals

If you have family rituals then they should continue. For example if you all watch a movie and eat popcorn on Friday nights that should be a part of the plan. While they will miss the other parent joining in, they will adjust to it. Kids can cope better if they see that some things remain the same, even if some elements of it have changed.

If your spouse always took the children out for ice cream on Sunday afternoons, they should continue to do so. You have no idea how much children look forward to these various rituals at home. There are plenty of memories involved in them and you don’t want to remove all of that due to the divorce. 

Start Something New

You can also ask them about new traditions and rituals they may want to try. This can be as good of a time as any for some new and fun things to come into their life. These can be memories they make with you and their siblings that aren’t associated with the other parent. They can do the same when they are with that parent as well.

Kid Problems vs. Adult Problems

This is the biggie…and the number one complaint (along with parents engaging in open conflict in front of the children) of kids I have seen in my practice over the past 25+ years. Stay hyper-focused on keeping adult problems to the adults. The beef you have with your ex, finances, frustrations with drop-off and pick-up, choices the other parent makes…all of that and more are NOT things to discuss in front of the kids no matter how upset you are about them. Keep these thoughts to yourself and share them with a friend, family member or therapist. Kids have enough worries of their own: grades, dealing with peers and coping with the divorce, just to name a few. When the aforementioned adult problems are imposed upon children, it truly complicates things for them and magnifies everything.

Love 'Em Up 

A big transition like divorce can drum up lots of anxiety over the unknown for kids. This is the time to love 'em up and provide them with plenty of physical hugs and snuggles, along with verbal reminders of your love. A word of caution, lavishing gifts and providing extravagant toys and doodads because you feel bad about your child's feelings will NOT help your child. Your child needs an emotional connection to you and your ex, and needs to know how much he or she is loved. Material goods can never convey that to children. Set loving limits and help kids express their feelings to make the transition as smooth as possible. BLOOM can assist you greatly in this process and it would be helpful for both parents to adopt this supportive parenting stance that helps kids build skills. This is never more important than when kids are experiencing anxiety, challenges and upset.


A divorce is very difficult on children so parents have to do their part to make it as easy as possible. Do your very best to keep some elements of their life the same as they were before. Clearly, it won’t be possible to do so with everything but do what you can. All this will go a long ways towards helping your children adjust best to the new transitions that are present in every divorce.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Looking for more support that caters directly to help kids adjust
to and thrive during and after your divorce?

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How Self-esteem is Born


How Self-esteem is Born

We cannot "give" our kids self-esteem. That's not how this works. We can give our kids lunch money, but cannot bestow confidence upon them, no matter how hard we try. It's not a tangible thing we can hand off to them or shove in their pocket as they head out to catch the school bus. If it were that easy, every kid would have it. And there are definitely some things we should avoid if we want our kids to develop healthy self-esteem. Read our wildly popular, 10 Things That Can Hurt Your Child's Self-esteem for more on that!

It's Not About "Telling" Them How Great They Are

Sure, we can tell our kids we think they are the "Bee's Knee's" or the BEST kiddo around, but that doesn't translate into solid self-esteem. Our kids need to feel it for themselves and come to believe it through the reflection they see of themselves in their relationships.

Say what?

How Self-esteem is Born

What we can do is provide an environment in which every child feels loved, nurtured, listened to and important. We can help them learn to handle life's little upsets and disappointments and not try to sweep their feelings under the carpet or tell them to "forget about it", as we hand them a chocolate chip cookie. 



Six Easy Concepts 

An easy way to focus on giving our kids what they need is:

1. Provide Empathy

2. Listen

3. Support Interests

4. Praise Efforts, Not Outcomes

5. Teach Skills

6. Help Your Child Cope with Emotions

It's Easy...and Hard

Those things seem simple enough, right? I know! But they don't factor in parental stress, a bad day at work, bills that are overdue, relationship problems, and the stresses and strains that most parents face. Sometimes, we just don't know where to start, or how to keep it going once we do. BLOOM can help with that. 

When Anxiety Is a Factor

Sometimes, parents do all they can to shore their children up and these children may still have issues with confidence and self-esteem. At times, anxiety is a factor and must be addressed to help the child cope across situations in their life. Read more on helping the anxious child HERE.  

See more than a dozen ways to help your family CALM DOWN.

Now You Know

Now you know the real story behind self-esteem! Which of the six factors we mentioned do you need focus on most? You may find that you do several of those things well already and just need to focus on one or two. Strengthen one, then work on the next. And don't forget to have some fun!



Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD, is  the founder of Kidlutions and co-author of BLOOM: 50 Things to Say, Think and Do with Anxious, Angry and Over-the-Top Kids. She is the creator of numerous workbooks and resources to help from the preschool through the teen years. Follow her on PinterestInstagramTwitter and Facebook! She'd love to see your smiling face there!


Friday, January 15, 2016

Inspire Joy! Play More: 5 Ways Play Matters



Doesn't the idea of more joy in your life intrigue you? Who wouldn't want that? Unless you are joy-phobic, chances are you could use a little more of uplifting stuff in your life. There's always room for "that certain gelatin concoction" (or so the ad says) and there's always room for JOY! Add some more to your family's or classroom's day!


Inspiring joy doesn't take a whole heck of a lot of effort. There are some simple ways to do it! Before we get to the "play" part, we must first and foremost:

~ Be Like a Photographer - Change perspective 

Every single experience we have is filtered through our perspective. If things are dark and gloomy in your head, put in a new "lens" and see things from a new angle. Teach kids to do the same and teach it with a joyful heart. I'm no expert in photography, but I know that they change lenses often, depending upon the changing conditions around them, and they change their focus, too, honing in on only certain parts of things. 

Some camera shots are super cool, taking a hyper-focus on a beautiful aspect of something, while downplaying or blurring what's around it. We can do that in our lives, you know? We simply focus on the best aspect of each situation. This is a cultivated trait....and we have to keep applying this concept to get really good at it. It comes as second-nature, eventually. I promise! (This is one of the most important steps to finding joy in our daily lives.)


Life is busy! I get it! It's my reality, too. That doesn't mean we can't approach the more "work-y" or tedious parts of our life with a more playful attitude. We can totally control that aspect of every part of our lives. Be more intentional with a focus on a "playful" approach. But make sure there's time for true play...when you and your kids can be at ease, joyful and curious! 



Now that we've got our head's on straight, let's focus on the ways play matters:

1. Play is a critical part of learning. 

There's lots going on "behind the scenes" and in your child's brain when they play. Play encompasses every area of learning: cognitive, social, emotional, physical. It is a critical piece to learning that should never be underestimated. Play and learning have a symbiotic relationship...the two go together and are not separate entities.

2. Building Better Brains

Play builds better brains. It's been researched and fleshed out by the likes of Dr. Sergio Pellis, whose work is inspiring...and apparently brings him great joy! See! This all goes back to the notion of making our work our play. I'm telling you...this is BIG! Click through to read about prefontal cortexes (PFCs) and neurons and all that jazz. Play really matters.


3. Play helps children adjust and cope.

Play is a joyful endeavor that can also help mediate stress in children. Problems are solved and new ways of thinking about a situation can all be worked out in play. Children re-enact difficult situations through their play, in order to gain mastery over them. 
    4. Recess is NOT a Privilege, it's a Right.

    I say that with no reservations. Unequivocally. If your child attends a school where recess can be removed as a consequence for misbehavior or missing work, you might wish to attend a school board meeting in your district and share the facts. There are so many other skill-building ways to help kids perform better. Punishment is simply not the best way, now that we know better! (See BLOOM to read more on that...it provides tons of options for skill-building and teaching, rather than punishing.)

    5. Many Ways to Play

    Play is not a one-size fits all. There are so many dimensions to play and all of them are important. There are games we play that have rules, there's dramatic play, symbolic play, outdoor play and free play, for starters. Structured play and unstructured play, play with open-ended and close-ended toys...play, play, play. The important thing is to make sure your children get plenty time for it! 

    Most importantly: Don't Forget to Play!



    And for a more playful, 
    that is in keeping with 
    best-practices based on the 
    latest neuroscientific research, 
    be sure to check out BLOOM.


    We are indebted to the esteemed 
    Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
    and Neuroscientist, 
    for giving our book the 
    "nod of approval"!


    Build a happier family today with BLOOM!



    Teach Love, Kindness and Compassion
    this Valentine's Day!

    Image result for valentine sale
    {image above from kitchentablestamper.com}


    Click image to see find out more or go HERE.



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