Friday, May 17, 2013

“I Love You Rituals:” Uninterrupted Acts of Love

What a busy time we are having at The Little School. I am really looking forward to diving right back into conscious discipline. To start us off I thought we could take some time to learn about a topic that seemed to really interest people. So, I’d love to share a little more about “I love you rituals” this week.

“I love you rituals,” according to the book with the same name by Becky Bailey, are “delightful interactions and games that adults can play with children from infancy through eight years of age and that send the message of unconditional acceptance to love.”

These rituals are done through songs and games because play is our children’s world. They learn, discover, and develop through playing. They feel safe and are attentive while doing it. So, by having fun, you can keep your child’s attention while bathing them with love and adoration.

Here are the four goals of I love you rituals:

1. I Love You Rituals optimize your child’s brain for success at school and in life.
2. I Love You Rituals increase your learning potential and effectiveness through touch.
3. I Love You Rituals create loving rituals that hold families together even through the roughest times.
4. I Love You Rituals strengthen the bond between adults and children that insulates children from drugs, violence, and peer pressure, laying the foundation for mental and emotional health.

In our hectic life, I love your rituals are perfect. They don’t take a lot of time, but they give you special moments of pure attention between you and your child. I will share a few of these rituals with you and would love for you all to share your own as well. For more rituals don’t hesitate to ask me, the office, or check out Becky Bailey’s book.

Goodnight Elbow

Preparation and Instructions- Add this delightful game to your child’s bedtime routine.

The Game- Tell your child, “I am going to say goodnight to your ears, your hair, your forehead, your eyebrows, your shoulders, and your elbows.” Continue down the child’s body, saying goodnight to as many parts as you want to. Each time you say goodnight to a body part, touch that part. Each touch involves a gentle massage, helping your child relax for a good night of sleep. Use the time to relax as well by emptying your mind of clutter and being totally present with your child.

Variation: In the morning, play “wake up elbow.” Tell your child, “I am going to wake up your hair, your ears, your chin, your thumb, and so on. Touch each part that you “wake up.”`

Snuggle Time

Preparation and Instructions- Each day, designate a “snuggle time.” This is a five-minute time-out from the hustle of life.

The Game- To make a gentle transition from a busy time to a snuggle time, say the rhyme. This rhyme is the signal for both you and the child to locate each other and settle in together. Snuggle time is the time to hold each other, rock in a chair, or read a book.

Snuggle Time

Sometimes I yell.
Sometimes I hurry.
Sometimes I fuss.
And sometimes I worry.

All is not lost.
Everything is fine.
I love you so much.
Now it's snuggle time!

Becky Bailey has a youtube video about I Love You Rituals, visit it using the link below. While it discusses rituals with older children, it still gives a good explanation about the purpose of “I love you rituals.”

-By Kimberly Macenko

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