Creating a calm down corner at home
As parents, we have experienced tantrums, meltdowns and outbursts from our toddlers and preschoolers at least once a day. It could surface from a lack of attention, or overstimulation, but they are definitely not naughty. Tantrums are signs that our child has not learnt how to manage his emotions yet. In order to understand why young children throw tantrums, we must first understand the science of the brain.
Dr Dan Siegel and Dr Tina Payne Bryson have a concept in their book "The Whole-Brain Child" that helps us understand the brain in a simple way. When we understand what's happening in the brain, we can exercise power and make better choices. We must recognise that there is an upstairs and downstairs brain.
Therefore, our role as parents is so important. Our children need us to teach them and to help them to handle their frustrations without an outburst. We can impart a set of skills that that enables children, as they mature, to direct their own behaviour towards a goal, despite the unpredictability of the world and our own feelings.
What is the purpose of a calm down area?
A calm down area is a place for an angry and upset child. It is a place where children can release their frustrations and anger in a safe place using appropriate materials that enable children to manage and regulate their emotions and frustrations. The purpose of the calm-down area is to get our children out of the fight or flight mode and engage the upstairs brain again.
At the calm down area, we can guide our children in a breathing exercise or other soothing techniques to help them calm down. Avoid lecturing or trying to reason with your children at this moment. Instead of using words "calm down", use phrases like "let's breathe through your noses". Once our children are back in their upstairs brain, the issues can be addressed using logic and reason.
When we teach our children ways to manage their emotions, it fosters the healthy development of self-regulation. When we intentionally sit with our children at the calm down corner and treat them with respect, it deepens the parent-child relationship. The process may be difficult but worthwhile.
How do we create a calm down corner?
Create a calm down toolbox for your child to turn to in times of stress and frustration. Get a box or a basket, or even our stylish and practical Howard moving books and toy storage truck. Put in items that will calm your child down.
Our favourite items in our calm down truck are stress balls, colouring materials, books and stuffed toys. These are materials that most children can enjoy playing with quietly. As parents work with their child at the calm down area, it is important to take note of what works best in a calm down kit for your child. As what works for one child may not necessarily work for another. When we help our child to work with the tools he needs, we are setting him up for long-term success.
Our Howard's Moving Books & Toys Storage Truck is designed by us right here in sunny Singapore, as we were motivated to create a mobile storage that was not only functional but fun and interactive for little ones. Shop online today and orders within Singapore will enjoy free doorstep delivery for any purchase above $150!