How can I get my kids to comply? How can I support focus, learning, and more? (At home Parents During Covid19)
Just like you, I am home with kids during this Covid19 social distancing and home learning time. To me, my expertise as a child psychologist gives me insight into what our kids need while also knowing… that as a mom… I have loads of feelings and that receiving support is always welcomed!
I wanted to share this weeks morning meetings and why they made the difference to our daily schedules and emotional stability…
For me, morning meetings are a wonderful way to ensure our children’s awareness of intentions, meaningful learning, and their individual needs for the day. Each morning meeting allows for a chance to connect with one another with love and support. Every morning meeting involves a ritual of lighting a candle, a poem or riddle to share, an experience of moving, and of course a bit of establishing agreements and parameters for the day.
The repetition and invitation of the time brings consistency to the children and provides a framework which models for them the importance of this time together and the benefits of their learning. The container of the time brings a sense of security and lightness to what can become a very challenging day. This partnership time instills for the children that they are seen, accepted and a part of something bigger. Most importantly, the time offers a chance for capabilities and competency which regulates the children’s emotions, encourages learning and reinforces absolute love!
Day 1: New Beginnings, The children learned about the new start of the year, the new beginning of school. The children explored the concept of change. Through movement the children stood up and shared an embodied animal or symbol that they wanted to bring into their new year. These animals: a playful dolphin, a silly penguin, a wise elephant, and a fast cheetah – allowed us to move with lighthearted efforts, to share how we wanted to be met during our learning time, and to support the options we had to interact with one another.
On Day 2 we explored second chances. Giving the children a space to explore “do overs” and how to repair mistakes and challenge points provided more acceptance and ease throughout the day. We passed movement around in a circle, each child trying a hand gesture, changing the hand gesture and then passing it to the next. By embodying changes we realized that we can always try again and learn. We spoke about areas to keep from our first day of school and ways to change. As mentioned each meeting started with a ritual of lighting a candle, smiling and ended with blowing the candle out.
Then on day 3 and 4, we explored the concept of Ease (making the day easy breezy, moving with ease to get through the middle of the week, and how to let challenges blow away). Then we explored “being our best.” The kids shared when they feel their best. I admired their ability to see that pushing through a challenge point showed each of them that learning was possible. Each child moved and shared “I got this!”
Along with these themes this week, I also took into consideration the social learning that takes place amongst siblings, parent/child and even friends. The kids had the opportunity to practice listening with open hearts, open eyes and closed mouths. The kids were met with movement opportunities instead of reprimands. For instance, if my son was fidgeting when his sister was talking, I had us all try the fidgeting move on in our own body, rubbing our hands together and then as if we were throwing an imaginary ball – we could share and listen with our movement. Anytime I inserted a movement activity; stretching, passing, wiggling, standing…the kids connected and focused more – I felt more settled, less reactive and we all continued to have fun!
Lastly, we have even decided to get the grandparents involved; having them send riddles for me to share during this time to the kids, or having them write cursive hand written letters that the kids can read and respond to. These interactions have brought even more connection to the relationships the kids have with their family and friends outside of our home and virtual world.
I hope you all can find joy in these little moments and continue to make connections with your children.
Everyday, I work with children of all ages and their families to support their communication styles, movement choices, and beautiful connections! During this Pandemic, therapeutic support and resources are available! For more ways to learn how to embody parenting and support your child through life, Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your time.
Please Note: These stories are based on real moments but all names, ages, and identifying information has been changed to ensure confidentiality and safety for all individuals involved. The events are a composite of related scenarios used to illustrate the work; bringing understanding to the benefits of supporting children through a mind/body connection.