Hitting the RESET button!

I had a trillion and one things I wanted to get done before we had people over to our house for our summer kickoff party. Of course, this was when my 4 year old wanted a snack, wanted to play, wanted  her squeeze yogurt opened, etc. etc. and to top it all off, the baby was teething and just generally grouchy!

I was starting to feel a little frazzled!   

I realized in that moment that they were feeding off of my mood and were beginning to get irritable as well!  It was time to hit the reset button.  In our home, my girls and I have a few fun ways that we “RESET” when we are having a difficult moment.

FIRST and FOREMOST…we recognize that we are getting cranky and grouchy!

SECOND– What to do about it? This may be different for you and your children- what is your child’s love language? What do they respond best too?   Here are some things that have worked in our home:

  1. We are big Doc McStuffin’s fans so we give “Lamb-y Cuddles”. We give each other great big squeezy hugs and make the Lamb-y voice as we cuddle! This is a favorite as it can be done anywhere, not just in our own home. I have given many a Lamb-y Cuddle in the Target parking lot over the years!
  2. We use “Bacon Breathing”.  In therapy, I ask children to think of the yummiest thing their parent or grandparent cooks in the oven- some say brownies, some say chocolate chip cookies…my kid says bacon! (She is her mother’s daughter!!)  Bacon smells SOOO delicious when it’s being cooked in the oven so we inhale the smell through our noses. When it comes out of the oven it’s too hot to eat. Ask any little kid what to do with hot food and they will tell you to blow on it!  So, we inhale the bacon and blow slowly on it to cool it down. We have just taught our children the tools of calming themselves down through deep breathing-in a way that is fun and engaging! I’ll say, “How many bacon breaths do you think it will take for us to blow away the grumps?” We make it into a game trying to guess and usually we are giggling by the end.
  3. We “ice skate” on paper plates in the living room. No explanation necessary! Just do it! What a leg work out to boot!
  4. We turn on a You Tube video from Brain Gym or Raffi and dance around and act silly for one song.
  5. When all else fails I put them in water! I will declare tubby time for the purpose of play only!

No expectation of getting washed up (bonus for me is that once they are in there they just naturally fall into the bath/wash routine without thinking anything of it!) Warm water is so soothing and calming to little ones! I keep a box of food coloring in the bathroom cabinet and on REALLY cranky days I will offer “RAINBOW” baths. An added bonus of this is that while resetting, they are also learning colors and what colors mixed together can form.

We all get frazzled and grouchy sometimes. It’s important that we remember the impact that our mood has on our children and know when to hit that reset button! Not only are we making life a little more enjoyable by bring back some happy, we are teaching our children self-awareness and coping skills for handling some of the more difficult emotions.

Katerie Breuer, MSW, LCSW, LISW-CPIMG_0259.PNG

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