In our "normal" day to day life we all experienced dysregulation but most of us as parents/caregivers were able to regulate ourselves and were much more focused on how to keep our kiddos regulated. WELL, in these Covid-19 days/weeks, we are all much more aware of our own dysregulation on top of what our kiddos from hard places are experiencing.
So, I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about some strategies to self-regulate and co-regulate kiddos at the same time!
Getting outside and specifically in nature is the BEST sensory experience. Children experience life and learning through their senses. There is a natural decrease in stress levels that comes from spending time outside. This is true for adults and children alike. Many of us have limitations upon where we can go outside right now, but know this. You can take a walk in a neighborhood, explore the surroundings of a church parking lot, walk along ditches, lay down in the middle of the driveway, take a walk through a small town and even a drive in the car with windows down if possible and no media on to experience the feels, smells and sounds. This isn't about a structured educational opportunity but about exploration and senses. #vitaminn #1000hoursoutside
As the day goes on and we head into evening hours, or lets be honest some days by mid-morning,we begin to feel irritable (dysregulated). This is the time to get silly, playful. Last night, while trying to cook dinner, things were getting crazy. SO, I turned on some dance music and LOUDLY. Little dude, broke out the wooden spoons and measuring spoons and was drumming on the cans of beans going into the chili, the pan lids, the cabinets and the list goes on. We danced together intermittently and made a ruckus, so much so that the big kids came down. They joined in to the silliness at least momentarily.
It's amazing how this kind of play can be a release for all. After a two hour virtual staff meeting this week, my 17 year old daughter, my 6 year old son, myself and our dog played a 20 minute game of hide and seek. We laughed and ran and after 20 minutes we were all in a much better head space. It doesn't take a plan just an openness to be playful and silly. I have had pillow fights, slid down stairs on my bottom racing one of the kids, jumped on the bed and played make shift basketball with paper and a basket. There are so many opportunities and it doesn't take a lot of time to have an impact on any age participant. #tbri #play #occupational therapy
When all else fails. CHEW GUM!!!