Create a Calming Space

CREATE A CALMING SPACE | Most of the time when a child feels stressed, a parent also feels stressed and can result in ways that may not be as positive. However, there are ways to address BIG feelings in a calming and loving way that will help manage stress for both child and parent. Young children are learning how to control their feelings,
and this can be a learning process and an adjustment for parents. It is important though to see social
and emotional development as a critical foundation in the early years for future academic success. Long before entering kindergarten, children should begin identifying their emotions, gaining helpful tools to support emotion management, and self-regulation skills.

My son who is three-and-a-half is learning how to manage his BIG feelings. When he gets angry, sad,
frustrated, or anxious, it has been helpful to create a calming space for him to go to and show him what
he can do in this space. Not only does my son see that he can use this space, but he also sees me as his
mom use this space. So how is a calming space created? It is simple! Choose a location in your home
that can be a calming space made with pillows, blankets, a tent, etc. You may add soft textures with
stuffed animals, emotion books, journals, and squishy objects. This space is used best with the loving
guidance of a parent or caregiver who can talk with the child as they experience these BIG feelings.

Recently, when my son felt frustrated and began to have a meltdown, he came over to the cozy calming
corner and laid down his head. I gave him a back massage and encouraged him to take deep breaths,
relax, and know that it is okay. I reassured him that his feelings were valid for feeling frustrated and that
he can keep trying until he gets it or tries something else. I wanted him to know that he can be
persistent, and it is okay to also take a break before trying again. The next time that there are BIG
feelings from your little one, consider how you might create a calming space to Maximize Love and
Manage Stress.

By Airreia Pierce, Author, Educator and Mom

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