Friday, March 15, 2013

Principle #3: Start the day the brain smart way!

By Kimberly Macenko

Hello Little School families. How were you this past week at controlling your own upset? I sure know that writing the last blog was a big help for me at home and in the classroom. On Thursday, two children were extremely frustrated when their toys got taken. I bent down and handed each toy to the child I thought had it before. This usually solves the issue, but they continued to cry. For a split second, I started to stress out. I took a deep breath, put my hands in the air, and let it all go. I released the stress, and was able to help find a solution!

We need some ways to start our day in a great way, so let’s look at our next principle. Principle #3: Start the day the brain smart way and implement stress reduction activities. I am going to split this principle into two parts. I will discuss mornings this week and stress reduction activities next week.

How our morning goes sets the pace for the rest of the day. A stressful morning can make you feel unsettled all day long. Not just for you, but really for your child as well. A calm, relaxing morning, on the other hand, can help you feel ready to enjoy the day ahead of you. Our children need routine. They feel secure when they know what happens next. In our classroom, our one year olds magically know exactly when our two snacks and lunch are. They get used to a routine and it makes them feel safe. When lunch or a snack is late, they get very frustrated.

Help make your morning and your child’s morning less stressful by creating a successful routine and faithfully sticking to it. It won’t happen overnight, and it won’t be easy at first, but doing your best and being repetitive will eventually create a safe atmosphere for both of you.

In our modern, hectic day, routine can be so difficult. While some are blessed with a fixed schedule, others of us deal constantly with ever changing schedules. But don’t fret, you can still have a consistent routine even if the hours need to be adjusted. A daily routine filled with daily rituals can make mornings feel more consistent even with a changing schedule.

Some things you can do:
1. If your job allows, get up at a consistent time, both you and your child. If this isn’t possible, try to make sure you are getting a consistent amount of sleep each night.

2. Get up early enough to create special rituals with your child that stay consistent no matter who is taking them to school. Do them each day in order so your child can learn and know what is expected and he or she becomes part of your routine. You can sing a song each morning with your child as they wake up, get up early enough to have a consistent breakfast or snack with your child, or other rituals that show your child he or she is loved. 

The list goes on, but the important part is that you make things less stressful for you and your child by always knowing what is expected and by creating special rituals full of love.

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