Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Answers To the Rest of the CDP Registry Questions

  • What is your favorite season?
    • Winter--I love the SILENCE! The lack of chirping or buzzing noises, the cool temperatures after the hot, miserable summer, the beautiful white of the snow (if we are lucky enough to have any!) 
    • Also Spring--I like the sunshine after the winter darkness, the pleasant temperatures, and the daffodils, tulips, crocus, and other spring flowers.  
  • What is your favorite treat?
    • Fresh peas, right out of the pod, but since those are so hard to find....
    • Currently Ben and Jerry's Mint Chocolate Cookie ice cream for really Crappy special occasions, milk chocolate (Kisses, Peanut Butter Cups, Tw!x, etc.) for general medicinal purposes more regular consumption
  • What is your favorite scent?
    • My favorite scent changes. I've liked lilac, strawberry, honey, vanilla; generally the sweet scents. My current favorite is coconut.
  • What is your favorite ice cream coping mechanism?
    • My favorite coping mechanism used to be reading, but I prefer to read a book in one sitting and that hasn't been possible for quite some time. Also, I find it harder and harder to come back from pleasant book-world, where everything gets worked out in the few hours it takes me to read the book, to difficult reality, where so much is unstable and unknown. These days, I use crocheting for general sanity purposes, cross-stitching sometimes, and ice cream for the more severe occasions. 
  • What do you like to do in your free time moments?
    • HA ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! *wiping tears of mirth that sprang to my eyes at the seemingly-impossible thought of having "free moments"* What was the question again?
  • What do you not enjoy doing, and why, but have to do anyway?
    • I DETEST planning dinner because, no matter what I do (SERIOUSLY! Even if I order pizza, at least one person will make a disparaging comment about which place I ordered it from!) at least one person, if not three or four, will complain about some aspect of the meal.
    • I also detest trying to match the socks in the clean laundry. I have a laundry-hanging thing with 16 or so clips on it where I keep lone socks Now I have 2 awesome "Free Dobby" sock hangers, and they are ALWAYS full. I try to be careful and wise with money, but I am often SORELY tempted to throw/give away ALL OF THE SOCKS, and start over with the same kind of socks for each size. 
Lately there have been so many lone-socks, I've had to lay some across the top!
If someone gave you money with the instruction that you had to spend it on something frivolous for yourself, what would you buy?
    • Well, if I could get past the temptation to buy new socks for the entire family...I guess it would depend on how much money.
    • If it was a MAJOR amount of money, I would buy a bigger house so that every child could have their OWN space (thereby enabling me to send grumpy people to their rooms without hearing them pick a fight with the other person who resides in that room--PEACE AND QUIET for ME) and a housekeeper to be in charge of meals, getting the children to do their chores, taking children to appointments, and taking care of the general cleaning. (How nice would that be if my only job was to teach and deal with the children?!)
    • If it was A LOT of money, I would buy my husband a decent car! (I know this doesn't SEEM frivolous, but since his current car usually works, it seems like it would be frivolous to replace a working vehicle and it would be SUCH FUN for me to surprise him with it!)
    • If it was a MODERATE amount of money, I think I would like to have a supply of gift cards from various places (Amazon, Pizza Hut/Papa John's/Domino's, Joann's) to spend whenever I wanted!
    • If it was a SMALL amount of money, I would buy as many fresh peas as I could find (YUMMY!), yarn, CDP supplies (because it makes me happy to send someone a package full of CDPs!), yarn, some of my favorite books in ebook format (I prefer actual books, but ebooks are more portable for vacation purposes), or yarn. 
  • Is there something that you REALLY, REALLY like? (Burt's Bees, horses, cats, fairies, unicorns, birds, patriotic stuff, babies, chocolate, Diet Coke, etc....)
    • Yarn, pretty crochet hooks, babies, chocolate, H@rry P0tter, and M@ry Engelbre!t stuff
  • What is the VERY! BEST! present you have ever received and why was it the best? 
    • My favorite presents have been those that showed that somebody cared enough to notice what I like/want without me having to say, "I would like you to get me _____."
    • One example that comes to mind: The first night of our honeymoon, when we arrived at the Bed and Breakfast, at the foot of the bed, in the champagne bucket full of ice, was a carton of Ben and Jerry's Mint Chocolate Cookie; smart man =)!

Monday, May 21, 2012

An Easy Way to Make Cleaning Cloths

I LOVE sewing projects like this one because it doesn't matter how badly I sew or if my finished product looks terrible! It's all about USEFULNESS of the item instead of beauty!

I had another large pile of old tee shirts and other clothes that were hopelessly stained or had little holes but still had a lot of usable cloth , so I again turned them into snuggles for animal cages (scroll down to see pictures). But this time I had a few baby onesies that weren't going to be very big and some sleeves from some long sleeved shirts that were going to look funny and be lumpy if I left them on the main shirt. It turns out, they made PERFECT cleaning mitts!

Baby-sized onesie: turned inside out, cut off snaps, sewed armholes and leg part closed, turned right-side out

Sleeve: cut two sleeves off of a shirt near the shoulder seam, cut sleeves open along the seam running down the length of the sleeve, matched two sleeves with right sides together, sewed around the edges leaving the cuff un-sewn, turned right side out

I used two different sets of sleeves for some of the mitts, to make them thicker. I sewed them separately, as described above, then inserted a smaller mitt into a larger one and sewed around the edges to keep them together.

The sleeves from the children's clothes made cleaning mitts just the right size for the children to use =)!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Part 5: "Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions"

This is part of a summary of the book: Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions. My comments are generally in italics; the rest of the information comes from the book.

We are now at Part 3 of the book: "Responding to Your Child's Behaviors".

Chapter 6: Behavioral Principles and Intense Behaviors
"When your child's emotions dominate your life, you might feel like it's impossible to meet the basic responsibilities of parenting.How do you teach your child the lessons that all children need to learn about how to behave, what is expected of him, and the values and morals of your community?...When your child has intense emotions, they get in the way of his learning certain behaviors, maintaining expected behaviors, and/or responding to your limits. Even when your child knows how he is supposed to behave, his emotions may interfere with his ability to behave in expected ways."

Principles of Effective Parenting Revisited
  • Do not assume the worst.
  • Don't be judgmental.
  • Validate your child.
  • Be responsive, not reactive.
  • You can lose the battle and still win the war.
  • It takes two to engage in power struggles.
  • Balance your responses.
  • Choose the most effective response.
Understanding and Using Behavioral Principles
  • The behavioral model of psychology tells us that "behaviors are caused and/or maintained by something that either precedes or follows them."
  • Conditioned response: when a behavior is prompted by something that comes before it
  • "Other behaviors are learned by the consequences that come after them---behaviors are strengthened when followed by something pleasurable and weakened when followed by something unpleasant or punishing."
  • Describe behaviors by the specific actions you see instead of using judgmental terms.
    • "My son got upset and was disrespectful" vs. "When my child was not allowed to do what he wanted, he told me that I was mean and then did not talk to me."
  • Behavioral Terms
    • Antecedent: something that comes before the behavior
    • Consequence: something that comes after the behavior
    • Reinforcement/Reward/Reinforcer: increase the probability of occurrence of the behavior it follows
      • "For reinforcers to be effective, (1) choose them with your child, (2) be willing to choose another if one isn't working (even if your child chose it), (3) use it at a time when your child has not had access to it, and (4) provide several choices so that your child doesn't get bored."
      • "Reinforcers are not bribes....In actuality, life is filled with reinforcers." Going to work/getting paid, doing something nice for someone/appreciation is expressed.
      • Give your child reinforcers as soon as possible after the desired behavior has occurred, so the child links the desired behavior to the reinforcer.
      • Examples of reinforcers: special time with a parent, a later bedtime, an event your child wants to attend, extra time on the computer, money to save for a special toy, sticker or stars on a chart (that may or may not be turned into something concrete)
      • Shaping is teaching your child to behave a certain way by rewarding small, gradual steps that lead to the desired behavior.
    "The steps of effective shaping are: 1. Break the overall behavioral goal into small, manageable behaviors that your child can accomplish. 2. Reinforce completion of the first behavior until he is able to follow through consistently on that behavior. 3. When the first behavior becomes consistent, add another expectation and reinforce when both behaviors occur. 4. Add another behavior to all previous behaviors and only reinforce when that new behavior joins all the others. 5. Repeat until all expectations can be met by your child and reinforcement occurs only when your child has met the overall goal."
When I think of "shaping", I think of potty training. First, my child gets one candy (something little: M&Ms or Smarties) if he sits on the potty. Then, he gets a candy if he gets something in the potty. Then, he gets two candies if he gets something in the potty and his diaper was clean....and on and on until he is potty trained.
      • "The Premack principle reminds you to make a behavior that is likely to occur contingent upon a behavior that is less likely to happen." (television AFTER chores, dessert AFTER dinner, etc.)
      • Intermittent reinforcement happens when you only reinforce behavior occasionally. This creates very persistent behavior because the child never knows when he will get the reward. This can increase negative behaviors, as well as positive behaviors, depending on how you are using this principle (for example, giving in to tantrums).
    • Punishment: decreases the probability of occurrence of the behavior it follows.
      • "To be most effective, punishment needs to be specific and time limited. Punishments that go on for days or weeks lose their effectiveness." Unless you remind your child of the behavior that caused the punishment every time he complains about it. Ahem.
      • "Try to make the punishment fit the 'crime'."
      • Natural Consequences: when you allow the natural outcome of the behavior to punish it. (forgetting to bring his lunch/being hungry, forgetting homework/receiving a bad grade)
      • "Reinforcement is more effective than punishment."
      • "To reduce your child's explosive and destructive behaviors, reinforcing him when he is behaving is more effective than punishing him when it is not."
      • "You can also shape your child's behaviors by reinforcing specific behaviors that show a modulated response on the part of your child or a closer approximation of the behavior you're looking for."
      • Instead of taking something away from your child, let him use it only when he is behaving appropriately. "Reminding your child when he can earn something is much more pleasant (and effective) than threatening to take something away. For example, tell your child that he can play his video game only on the days when he has not had an outburst. In this way, he is earning the video game for behaving rather than losing it when he is not."
    • Contracts: "...are agreements between you and your child developed to (1) decrease a behavior that is problematic (like throwing things) or (2) increase adaptive behaviors that do not occur often enough (such as going to bed on time). A contract explicitly states the conditions under which your child will receive a reinforcer and what that reinforcer will be."
    • To develop a contract with your child:
      • Be specific about the expected behavior (do you want your child to complete his homework or work on it for a certain amount of time?)
      • Be able to confirm that the behavior has occurred
      • Have the reinforcer in your control and be able to follow through
      • Only use consequences you can and will follow through on
      • To develop a long-term contract, have your child collect a certain number of immediate reinforcers (stickers, tokens) that can be traded for a different prize.
      • If you have more than one child and/or more than one contract, get a notebook to keep track of the contracts you've made so you can remember the details that apply to each one *sigh of experience and exhaustion from the necessity of having so many contracts*.
Choosing Target Behaviors

"How do you choose the behavior that you want to change or modify? Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Does my child have unsafe or dangerous behaviors? If your child is dangerous to himself or others, these behaviors must be addressed and are the first targets for change.
  • What non-dangerous behavior has the most detrimental consequences for my child?...
  • What behavior is most problematic and/or interferes most in the family?...
  • What are my child's goals and what behaviors get in the way?..."
The chapter ends with a Behavioral Practice Exercise to help us practice what we've learned/make a plan to address a certain behavior.
  • "What behavior do you want to change?
    • Describe the behavior specifically. How often does it occur?
  • What consequences usually follow the behavior?
  • Do you want to increase or decrease the behavior?
    • What technique will you use? Reinforcement? Punishment? Shaping? A combination of them?
  • What specific reinforcer or punishment did you choose?
    • Why did you choose that particular consequence?
    • Are you able to be consistent in applying this contingency?
  • What was the immediate and long-term impact of your consequence?
    • What was your child's reaction to the consequence? Did the behavior increase or decrease over time?"

Summary Part 1
Summary Part 2
Summary Part 3
Summary Part 4

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Answers to Two of the CDP Registry Questions

Long, LONG AGO, Emily asked me to answer the registry questions. Honestly, I thought about being a good example and answering them when I first wrote that post, but apparently I am a hypocrite some of those questions are HARD and require MUCH THOUGHT, and I have a hard time picking favorites and I'm not known for my brevity of response.

But! I've been on vacation for a while now! And I haven't felt my brain seeping out of my ear ONCE during that time, so I thought I would try to answer those questions now! I will start with two of the questions and will answer the others later just in case your eyes are ready to fall out of your head by the time I finish with these two.

What is your favorite color?
For the longest time, I didn't think I really had a favorite color because I like lots of colors. But I started to notice that whenever I had to pick a color for something, I frequently picked blue. So I have a blue recliner and rocking chair, blue in the kitchen, and I wear a lot of blue. I seem to gravitate towards deep, rich blues, like cobalt, but sometimes I like lighter shades of blue too. When I decorated a few of the rooms in my house, I picked out things that weren't blue, so.....

Do you have any decorating themes in your home/office?
We have had the "college student/hand-me-downs/garage sale" theme in our house for many years now, and, although I like to blame the children for that ("But it's no use having nice things! The children just break/ruin everything!), it is certain possible that "decorating" and "themes" are not among my talents! However, at some point, I discovered that you can pick a certain item you like and use it to help you decorate an entire room!

Master Bedroom
After we had been married a few years and it was time to replace our mattress, we had 4 kids and 2 cats and decided that it would be very nice to upgrade to a king-sized bed. I looked and looked and looked for a new quilt to fit our new bed and loved this one as soon as I saw it:
Ivory! Sage! Rose!
I used the colors in the quilt to help me decorate in the bedroom. I tried to match the sage-colored binding on the quilt with paint chips for the walls. It didn't come out exactly right (next time I'll just take the quilt to the paint store with me), but it's close enough.

We had curtains in the bedroom of our last house, and they were lacy ivory with roses embroidered on them. If I were to pick out any other things for the bedroom (what else is there to pick out for the bedroom?), I would probably pick medium-dark rose or dark sage green.

Master Bathroom
Another time, I came across these bathroom towels and decided that I really liked this pattern, so our bathroom theme was chosen:

I can't remember the name of the pattern was "Grape Bordeaux" or something like that.
I bought a few of the towels with the patterned design and found some cloth to make a curtain for one window. The other towels and washcloths are medium and dark purple.

This curtain is perfect for the little room where the t0ilet is because it doesn't make the room dark.

Some idiot one put two HUGE, TRANSPARENT windows facing the bathtub and shower. We put "privacy" stuff on the windows, and I found shower curtain hangers in the same pattern as the towels, and used two ivory, sheer, embroidered shower curtains to further cover/decorate the windows.

Note the ever-present spray bottle on the counter

I also tried to match the paint for this room to the colors on the towels; the paint in the main bathroom is a little darker than the paint in the smaller room with the t0ilet. I wasn't sure how I was going to like it, but once I had it all finished I decided that I really liked the way it looked!

For accents in this room, I tend to pick medium-dark shades of purple. The soap in this Crappy Day Package and the cotton heart squares in this Crappy Day Package went very nicely in my bathroom!

The Kitchen
When we were first married, someone gave us a colander with hearts for the holes:

At the time, I thought it would be sweet to have a heart theme in the kitchen since cooking for my family was going to be one way I could show my love for them or so I thought, and I enjoyed cooking because years and YEARS of complaining about dinner had not yet beaten the joy and enthusiasm out of me.

I also really like M@ry Engelbre!t, and found a ME recipe box that said, "The torch of love is lit in the kitchen" again, before years and YEARS of complaining about dinner had beaten the joy and enthusiasm out of me. My mother gave me the ME cookie jar with the "Recipe for Friendship" theme, so I tried to use the bright, cheerful colors of M@ry Engelbre!t in the kitchen too. (I believe both of these can be seen below, in the last picture, if you click to enlarge.)

At some point, I found some beautiful, cheerful ME fabric that was yellow and white checkered, with rich, red cherries and I made shopping bags out of it. I also used fabric remnants I found to make cloth napkins.

Dog Hat/Visor and Collar Bandana Set Sz S
I found a picture of the fabric!! (Picture from happydapperdogs Etsy shop)

Over the years I collected heart-shaped measuring cups, measuring spoons, and waffle maker, and one day I found this:

A heart-shaped cereal BOWL!
And when I turned it over:
Beautiful BLUE!!
There is an entire SET of dishes in this pattern! 
Summer Breeze Dinnerware Set, 32 pc.
Picture from; Summer Breeze pattern
I liked the yellow pattern on the dinner plates and LOVED the pattern and scalloped edges on the smaller plates. The regular bowls were not my favorite, but I could live with them, so, after 7 years of marriage, we finally had matching dishes!

I tried ONCE AGAIN to match the paint for the kitchen to the blue on the dishes, and, AGAIN, it isn't quite right, but I still like it.
I love the pattern and colors on the bread pans too!
So, I have some of the pattern pieces for this set of dishes, and any other things I buy for the kitchen I try to get in the beautiful cobalt blue (like the pie pans in the picture above).

Do not be deceived: the kitchen only looked like this for about 5 minutes while I took this picture for a friend. Normally, you can barely see the counters. Oh, for the curtains, I found some thick, white fabric that had different brightly colored flowers embroidered on it.
(Recipe box on the counter, just past the stove, towards the right; cookie jar to the right of the recipe box)

The other rooms in the house don't really have a theme. The family room is a very light shade of the blue from the kitchen and has blue furniture and brown furniture, the baby's room was painted light yellow, some of the kids wanted a pink room when we moved, so I found a nice shade of medium rose for that room (I found it to be more difficult to pick out a nice shade of pink than I had imagined!)....oh! The older boys' room ended up being a nature-themed room.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Part 4: "Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions"

This is part of a summary of the book: Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Help Your Child Regulate Emotional Outbursts & Aggressive Behaviors. My comments are generally in italics; the rest of the information comes from the book.

Well, after having a break from the reasons I have to read this book reality for a little while, I think I am ready to face the book again. *deep breath* Lest you think I am not still suffering from dealing with this reality, while on vacation, someone told me that I should try loosening up a little (not be so strict) and see if that would help my children's behavior.
We are still in Part 2: Responding to Your Child's Feelings

Chapter 4: Responding When Your Child Is Overwhelmed by Emotions
Another reality check: is it necessary for you to continue reading these summaries this book for you?
"Do you feel as if you're always on edge, waiting for the next explosion? Do you wonder what you can do to lessen the outbursts that seem to occur frequently and without apparent warning? Do you feel like you have little control?...This is an exhausting and stressful way to live..." AMEN!
  • Lessening the Possibility of Emotional Outbursts
    • "In the last chapter we discussed that knowing your child, recognizing his vulnerabilities, and acknowledging his triggers can help you minimize the possibility that he will become intensely emotional."
    • Creating a home that is structured, consistent, and as calm as possible can also help. 
    • If parents react calmly to their child, the child is more likely to be calm.
    • "If your child is overwhelmed by intense emotions, he may feel more comfortable when his life is predictable and routine."
      • To provide a calmer environment for your child:
        • Create and stick to routines
        • Develop and use consistent, explicit rules and expectations
        • Limit the number of activities your child is involved in (if these are things that could be overwhelming your child or keeping him from having time to calm himself)
        • Try to make your home a safe haven.
          • To help your child manage his emotions at home, encourage him to:
*"Release his emotions in ways that are not disruptive to the whole family
*Find a place in the home where he is allowed to go and be undisturbed; don't let others in the family bother him when he is there (Anybody have ideas on how to do this when there are lots of people and not so much space at your house?)
*Use a quiet and soothing place that is filled with favorite toys, stuffed animals, and other calming items and activities
*Find ways to quiet and calm himself" (So far, I have been unable to get my high-emotion children to come up with their own ways or use any of my ideas.)
"Although it may be difficult to accept that your child needs to release some of his emotions at home, do not judge him for this. Validation and acceptance are key here. Your child's emotional outbursts do not occur at home just to bother you; the love and safety in his home allow him to express his emotions so that he can manage the rest of his life. If you can help him learn effective ways to manage his emotions, your child will be less disruptive when he expresses them."

As I read through this book this week, I noticed that, again and again, the authors emphasize the need to be calm and validating when responding to your child. Having also read the H@rry P0tter books this week, it made me think of Professor Dumbled0re and the way he responded to various people, who were often experiencing strong emotions. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that I'll be able to channel Dumbled0re when I get home....

        • "Provide Opportunities for Pleasure and Mastery:  Your child will be less vulnerable to overwhelming negative emotions if he participates in activities that he enjoys, that help him feel good, and that he feels competent doing."
          • Think carefully about using the activities he enjoys as rewards or taking them away for punishments. Yes, because these children are so easy to motivate in the first place so you have all sorts of options to work with *sarcasm*!
          • Find activities that your child will do well at that will give him an opportunity to succeed.
  • De-Escalating Your Child's Emotional Outbursts
    • Be calm and respond to your child in a validating and non-judgemental manner I think this is much more easily accomplished if you have chocolate in your mouth at the time, so BE PREPARED!
      • "Speak to your child in a soft tone, in a soothing manner, and in a low voice. Slow down your own body by speaking slowly and taking slow, deep breaths, which will calm down your emotions as well.
      • Step back from the immediacy of the situation for just a few seconds to find a more effective response to your child.
      • Be aware of thoughts such as, 'Here we go again,' or 'Oh no, not again,' or 'I can't manage this.' These thoughts escalate your own emotions. Remind yourself that your child is doing the best he can.
      • Remember the story of emotion from chapter 1 and make calming statements to yourself. Practice statements such as, 'We will get through this' or 'I can help my child to calm down if I stay calm.'" "I can respond calmly and wisely like Professor Dumbled0re."
    •  Helping Your Child Calm Down
      • Suggest calming activities that have been discussed before the outburst
      • Provide a safe and soothing place for the child to go while trying to calm down
      • Don't make demands on your child or threaten him with consequences during an outburst
    • Validating Your Child When the Anger Is Aimed at You
      • "...the essence of validation is to let someone know that you hear what he is saying and acknowledge his feelings without necessarily agreeing with what is being said." 
      • You can honestly say, "I can see that you're angry at me"
    • Remain Nonjudgmental When Your Child's Emotions Are Escalated...
      • ...because your child may already be feeling guilty or negative about himself or his behavior, and if you label or judge him that may make those feelings worse
  • Accepting VS. Denying Difficult Realities
    • "Willingness and willfulness differentiate the behaviors of people who are able to accept reality as it is (people who are 'willing') and those who believe that they can change reality if they try hard enough, act perfectly, or demand enough (people who are 'willful'). Your child may believe that he can change things by refusing to accept the way they are and by demanding that they be different. In evaluative terms, you might think this child is stubborn, oppositional, or defiant and be very frustrated by his unwillingness to understand."
    • "Your child denies the reality of a situation because the reality is too painful or difficult for him to manage, not because he wants to be stubborn or unreasonable." Hmmm, I'm sure that is true in some cases, but there are also times certain children are being stubborn and unreasonable.
      • Helping Your Child Accept a Difficult Reality
        • Take another dose of chocolate, for medicinal purposes.
        • "Talk to him in a calm and soothing voice.
        • Validate him by acknowledging that he is having difficulty with the situation, how he might be feeling, and how difficult it is when something doesn't turn out the way he was hoping.
        • Help him understand that this situation cannot be changed, no matter how much both of you might want it to. Give him time. Depending on the situation, accept that this may be an ongoing process and may require continued discussions. Actually, you are likely to continue having this discussion for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, so, brace yourself.
        • Help him find ways to distract himself from the negative emotions that accepting might create.
        • Reinforce his acceptance of a difficult reality."
        • Have a pint of ice cream to soothe your nerves after showing so much loving patience during such a difficult situation.
    • When Emotions Are Aimed Toward Oneself
      • Some children turn their negative emotions inward. Be aware of your child and seek professional help if you are worried about your child harming himself.
Chapter 5: Teaching Your Child to Manage Feelings
  • "When you help your child become more aware of herself in the present moment, she, too, will become more effective at learning to modulate and manage her emotions. Your child can develop heightened awareness of herself and her experiences by learning to observe things outside of herself."
    • Teach a child how to observe and describe objects.
  • Teaching Self-Awareness of Experience
    • Help your child to recognize her own body sensations (red face, clenched fist) and the feelings they represent (anxious, angry).
  • Mindfulness/Calm For Your Child
    • Practice calming exercises with your child
      • examples: listening to soothing music, deep breathing, mindfully relaxing different parts of the body, thinking of a happy memory
  • Following Up to Increase Self-Awareness
    • After your child has calmed down after an incident, review the emotional outburst to help her gain understanding of her feelings and behaviors.
      • "What risk factors and triggers led to the emotional outburst?
      • What name would you or she give to describe how she felt?
      • What are the consequences to her for responding in this way?
      • What other way could she express her emotions?
  • Calming Activities
    • "Do not hesitate to help your child remember how to calm herself or to ask her, 'Do you think a calming activity would be helpful now?'"
    • Examples of calming activities: deep breathing, playing on the computer, drawing, taking a warm bath, going somewhere to be alone
    • Brainstorm ideas for calming activities with your child, when your child is calm.
    • Make a chart and place it somewhere your child can refer to when she feels herself becoming emotional
      • Example of a chart: Title: What Helps You Feel Better? Body: When I am sad, I feel better when I...When I am mad, I feel better when I...When I am upset, I feel better when I...When somebody hurts my feelings, I feel better when I....
    • Talking About It Is Not Always Calming
      • Help your child to calm down BEFORE talking to her about the situation
    • Help your child to see the benefits of using a calming activity
"Help your younger child choose to calm herself by suggesting:
*It looks like you're getting mad. Please go to your room and play with some of your quiet toys so that you can calm yourself.
*I think that quiet time will help you settle down so you won't get any madder.
*Can we watch a movie and calm down a little big together?
To an older child you may, calmly, suggest:
*It seems like you're getting mad. Is there something from your chart that you can do that will help you calm down so we can avoid another outburst?
*It looks like you're really angry. I'm worried that you'll do something you may regret later. How can I help you calm down? Will something on your chart help you feel better?"
    • Considerations:
      • The more upset the child is, the more she will need something that relaxes her physically and doesn't require much thought.
      • An activity that works one day may not work the next day.
      • Sometimes it may be calming for your child to be alone; sometimes she may need to be around people.
      • "When you work on the chart, find activities that you and your child agree to. These activities should be easily accessible within your home, your child should be able to do them independently, and they should not depend on or interfere with anyone else."
      • "Don't get into a power struggle if your child refuses to use a calming activity. Remain calm. Continue to validate your child's feelings."
      • "If your child is involved in a calming activity, don't interrupt, make demands, or interfere until she has completely calmed herself down. An interruption may cause an escalation before she is able to tolerate any frustrations."
Next up hopefully sooner rather than later: Part 3, Responding To Your Child's Behaviors

Summary Part 1
Summary Part 2
Summary Part 3

Monday, May 7, 2012

Example of a Crappy Day Package #10

I am still revelling in my vacation, which is going by MUCH too quickly! I finished reading all of the H@rry P0tter books, which I very much enjoyed. Chocolate World was very delicious interesting. Having, er, supported this company so faithfully for so many years, I found the surroundings to be quite comfortable and familiar and half expected them to welcome me in like an old friend; perhaps this is what it is like when you meet blog-friends for the first time? I passed up a GIANT tube of chocolate-flavored lip gloss and chocolate-scented lotion, but did not pass up a large amount of few of the MANY varieties of delicious candy =).

This week I'm going to try to catch up on blog posts that I have started but been unable to finish.

As wonderful it is to be on vacation and spend time with my dear friend, I am not feeling as rested and clear-minded as I had hoped I would =(. Surely this indicates the need for a MUCH LONGER vacation, right ;-)?

Please remember to send your packages for the current Crappy Day Present Exchange NO LATER THAN May 15th, which is coming right up!  Here is another example of an excellent Crappy Day Package to inspire you!
A Lovely, Lovely Person* sent a Crappy Day Package to help me face a few more unpleasant intense days!

I loved the message on the outside of the box!

Bright and cheery wrapping

This one made me tear up a little; so thoughtful!

Lovely Person was right! The beautiful colors and soft texture made me VERY happy =)!

Wahoo!! NEW (as opposed to smashed-tip, dried out) markers to make my color-coding soul happy!

Pretty, COORDINATING stationary!

This day was so Crappy that I was unable to take a picture of the package before opening it.....

Bath bombs! I tried one shortly after opening this package, and I really liked it! It was fun to lock myself in my bathroom ALONE watch it bobbing around in the bathtub and enjoy the peace and quiet the smell was pleasant, without being overpowering!

Thank you, Lovely, Lovely Person!! I appreciated your thoughtfulness and the strengthening power of knowing I had Crappy Day Presents if I needed them!!
*I will be keeping Crappy Day Present senders anonymous so that the sender doesn't have to worry that Person Q is going to see what they (the sender) sent me and possibly feel bad that their (Person Q's) package was not as fabulous as mine ;-). But if you don't worry as much as I do aren't worried about that, you are welcome to claim your package in the comments!