What feelings come to mind when you think of that word?
Anger? Sadness? Helplessness?
Do you flash back to your own childhood?
Inside: 5 tips for helping kids cope with anxiety, stress and anger in healthy and safe ways.
The phone rings, and your heart stops when you notice the number. You know it’s because your daughter is having a hard time at school again. What could it be this time? A writing assignment she didn’t respond well to? A kid brushed her off?
You take a deep breath and answer the phone.
Inside: A book review of the Happy Kid Handbook by Katie Hurley. It's a wonderful addition to any parent's bookshelf!
Have you ever read a book that you couldn’t put down? That you felt compelled to underline and highlighted and put sticky notes all over? This happened to me when I started reading The Happy Kid Handbook. I got it out of the library and as soon as I started, I knew I needed to get my own copy so I could underline and highlight to my heart’s desire.
Here are a few of the reasons why I enjoyed this book so much and why I find it to be an extremely valuable resource.
Inside: All about fidgets - why they help, who can benefit from using them, and lots of suggested fidgets, both those that you can DIY and those you can buy.
We all know those kids who can’t quite get settled in the classroom. They may have a hard time sitting down to get their homework done. They may be zoning off in the middle of a lesson in school. Or they may look like they are paying attention, but their mind is constantly wandering off. These kids might benefit from a fidget!
I’m always on the lookout for good things kids can use to help combat and manage stress. Here are some of my favorite ideas just in time for the holidays!
Inside: A Child Therapist’s favorite books for kids and teens to help them deal with stress and anxiety. Use books to start talking about healthy ways to cope.
Your daughter slumps in her chair at breakfast. Recently, it’s been like pulling teeth to get her ready for school in the morning. She hasn’t touched her toast, which is really unusual - she typically has a healthy appetite. She keeps biting her nails, and hasn’t asked for a playdate in weeks!
Did you know that you can make your own stress balls? There are 3 different ways I’ve made stress balls. All of them use balloons, but I used 3 different materials to see how each one would feel: flour, rice and play dough. Each of them feels different and you can have your children try them all to see which one they like the most.
I recently discovered these Better Builder Emotion Figures from Guidecraft, and I immediately started thinking about ways they can be used to teach children about emotions.
As a school counselor, I often had kids come into my office in a heightened state, and it was my job to be able to help them calm down and get back to work in class. I had lots of items in my room to help achieve that. It’s always easier for kids to talk about what’s bothering them when they’re doing another activity or playing a game. As a mom, I know that there are lots of things that can help my kids reset when they are having a hard time, or getting into arguments or just have on their cranky pants. Here are some of my favorite items to help kids calm down.
Have you ever been at a busy playground surrounded by children moving in all sorts of different directions? As a mom of two, I often find myself there. And every time, it always strikes me as beautiful chaos. The cacophony of voices and the constant movement. All you see is children running, almost in a blur.
Mindfulness can be a helpful tool if you have a hard time managing your thoughts and emotions or if you want to improve your concentration. Mindfulness is being aware of what’s happening in the present moment. It’s not about trying to clear your mind, but allowing thoughts and emotions to come and go without judgment and familiarizing ourselves with the present moment. It takes practice to be able to do this.
I’m Janine Halloran, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, an Elementary School Counselor and a mom of two elementary school aged children. Over the last 15 years, I’ve worked with children around managing big feelings and emotions. Early in my career, I realized the importance of making sure my clients have healthy coping skills. Whenever I work with someone, my goal is to make sure they end up with a variety of healthy coping skills they can use every day.