The Adventures of Super Stretch Mindfulness & Yoga Fitness Program For Children™
Does your child struggle with worry and anxiety? Is it hard to get them to calm down after getting worked up? It’s challenging to see them suffer. Here are 12 of Super Stretch’s powerful and compassionate phrases and tools to the rescue to offer your child support and encourage them to relax.
Super Stretch’s mission is to give you tools to rescue your child from an anxiety-producing situation but remember that worry and anxiety look different for every child. These are tips and tools to empower your tot but you are the expert. If you try one of Super Stretch’s suggestions and it makes the issue worse, it’s ok, don’t go into high alert or panic, just pick something else to try to create a clam, balanced state of being.
- Get it off your chest. Let them talk about it for a set time. Don’t offer solutions just listen to their issue. “Tell me about it.”
- Feeling out of control? Offer comfort and safety. “I am here; you are safe.”
- Represent it. Demonstrate it with by using arms length. “How huge is your worry?”
- Conquer your fears with confidence. Stuck in a pattern without a way out? Have your child create a new ending for their story. “Why don’t we change the ending.”
- Worry is like an annoying “worry flea” that hangs around Audo the Down Dog and gets him off balance. Talk back to the “worry flea.” “What do you want to say to your “worry flea” to wag it away?”
- Words don’t always work. Observe the worry by drawing or painting it onto a piece of blank paper. Let them explain the “Can you draw your worry for me, please?”
- Go with the flow. Empower your child to feel safe amidst the storms and ride the waves of life. Teach them about safety. How can you stay safe? How does fear happen? “What other things do you know about seaweed in the ocean?”
- Feel worry sneaking on its tip-toes in? Go to your list of calming strategies to use. “What calming tool do you want to use from your toolkit?”
- Blow out finger candles
- Make a ‘Calm down jar’
- Feelings cards
- Essential oils
- Calm down retreat / peace corner
- Sensory toolkit (bag, box, bag pack = Auditory, Tactile, Olfactory, Gustatory/ Oral, Visual, Proprioceptive, Interoceptive, Vestibular)
- Fidget Widget
- Stress ball
- Calm down ball
- Silly putty
- Water bottle
- Kids can get so worried they forget to breathe. Teach them the most effective calming skill around, breathing. Have them feel the rise and fall of their chest as they inhale and exhale peace. “Take a breath.” Inhale and smell the flowers, exhale and blow out candles. Inhaling: belly, lungs, ribs. Exhaling: Ribs, lungs belly.
- Don’t assume. Give them an opportunity to tell you what would help them be less worried. “What do you need from me at this moment?”
- Change channels. Bring up a new topic to talk about to encourage your child that they will survive their difficult feeling. “Tell me about…”
- At the height of panic tell your child, “This yucky feeling will pass.” I know it sometimes it feels like the worry will never end or it’s too hard to overcome. Our brain can get stuck in the moment but teach your child to focus on the relief that is on the horizon.
Hope these little tips and tools help you and your child let go of some of the stress and icky feelings.
Keep us posted on how some of these tools work.
Breathe. Stretch. Play. Make NAMASTE a part of every day!