Great for All Ages, School Advice, Stress Management, The Happy Student Podcast

#109 Stress-Tolerance

Stress. We’ve all got it. I’ve got it. You’ve got it. Your kids have it. Some stress is good for us – it can help motivate us to do stuff and it activates our brain so that we really pay attention to what we are doing. But too much stress and those benefits go away. Too much stress and your brain starts worrying and stops working. You actually lose IQ points when you have too much stress. This is a problem. We’ve got 7 tips for building your stress-tolerance!

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE BELOW: 

[smart_podcast_player]

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg researches resilience, which requires a lot of stress-tolerance, and he’s got seven tips to help us manage our stress. 

1. Make problems manageable. The more you do this, the more it will become a habit every time something stressful pops up.

  • “Summit one mountain. When fully done, look up then” he says.
  • Have a plan of how you’re going to achieve your goal. It’s much scarier before you have that plan because the obstacle seems so much larger and impossible to overcome.
  • Help your child figure out what the problem is and how to overcome it, step by step, focusing just on one at a time.

2. Actively avoid stress-triggers.

  • Talk with your child about what or who triggers their stress and think about ways they might be able to avoid some of those triggers to make their school days better.

3. Exercise.

  • Anxiety is a bunch of extra energy coursing through your body, so Ginsburg says “we use up anxiety when we exercise.” And that will leave you feeling less anxious when you are done. 

4. Meditate.

  • Breathing, in particular, calms your entire system. And meditating helps to calm your mind. When you are calm, you are much more effective at overcoming obstacles.
  • When I’m stressed, I try to act quickly to relieve the stress. But I don’t always do a great job and then the stress returns. If I can calm myself down, I can go slowly and smoothly – do a good job, and be done faster. 

5. Sleep.

  • We all do better with sleep. We are happier and less stressed. 
  • We often think of sleep as nice to have, but really, it’s an absolute necessity. 

6. Take vacations.

  • Give yourself breaks and make them truly rejuvenating, like practice yoga or go for a walk. Scrolling through an app on your phone is not rejuvenating. 

7. Contribute to the world.

  • It makes you feel good to have something bigger than yourself that you’re working on. This can help protect you from stress that pops up when you are working on achieving it. Or, even when you’re not. 
  • And just because kids are young doesn’t mean they can’t contribute to the world. There are lots of things they can do, like be a bully buster or volunteer. 

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!

Difficult Topics, Executive Functions Training, Great for All Ages, Motivating the Unmotivated, School Advice, The Happy Student Podcast, The Procrastination Problem, Use Your Summer Wisely

#106 3! 2! 1! Blastoff! How To Get to Work

If your kid doesn’t believe in getting started on homework as soon as possible; if procrastination is a problem; and if tasks are often left to the last minute, your child most likely struggles with the executive function skill called task initiation. Fireborn’s here to help with 8 tips for building task initiation skills this summer!

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE BELOW: 

[smart_podcast_player]

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

It’s hard to get started working. Most of us have to use at least some willpower to stop doing something fun in order to start doing something not fun, but necessary. 

Another problem that can lead to procrastination is anxiety. If you are scared you don’t know how to do the homework, you may want to avoid it. And then you avoid it for so long that there is no possible way to finish it in time and you’ve done two things: 1. You’ve reinforced this belief that you didn’t know how to do the work, so now you are scared for tomorrow night’s homework. Or 2. You don’t really have to blame yourself because you didn’t have enough time to finish and if you had, then you might be able to tell yourself that you could have done it. Therefore keeping your pride intact. 

The summer is the perfect time to practice building those task initiation skills because the stakes are lower. Once you’ve got some task initiation skills and you go back to school when there is more pressure, you’ll already have some skills developed.

Today we are going to talk about finding ways to practice this executive function skill over the summer. 

  • Your child can practice with any reading lists, math packets, or stuff like that from school. 
  • If your child is going to camp and there is homework or practice for something like a play. 
  • Or maybe your child is taking swim lessons or tennis lessons – practicing at home like juggling a tennis ball on the racket could be seen as “homework”. 

You can set some goals at the beginning of the summer with your child. These goals should be child-generated. Having fun this summer is definitely an important goal. And then you can figure out what your child plans on doing to have fun. From there, talk with your child about some other goals. Just because these are things your kid wants to do, doesn’t mean they will actually be good at leaving video games behind to do it. So it will require practicing task initiation, at least at some point.

You can teach your child these 8 task initiation tips.

1. Use a “Rocketship Countdown”. 

  • Simply countdown like they do with rocketships, “3, 2, 1, blastoff!” and on “blastoff” you “blastoff” and go do whatever it is you need to get done. 
  • Being enthusiastic can be really helpful. 
  • Modeling it for your kid can encourage them to just do it too.

2. Create a music playlist for work time

  • Build a music playlist that does not have any words. Words in the music can take away brain power from reading and other verbal skills you need during homework time. 
  • Every time they are working on something, play the playlist. The playlist will eventually become a habit – it will cue that it is time for work and will help your child get into the working mindset. 

3. Develop routines. 

  • The nice thing about routines is that we don’t have to think about them – we just do them. So, if you can start making some work routines this summer, and the cues are the same in the school year, it can help them just work when they are cued.
  • Cues can be things like… 
    • the time of day, 
    • a sound, 
    • or a set of activities.

4. Work in short bursts with breaks

  • The thought of working for an unknown quantity of time can be intimidating. If your child just has to work until “it’s finished” – that can really dissuade them from wanting to get down to business because who knows how long that could take. 
  • They are also more likely to realize that the work is not as bad as they thought and they might get on a roll and keep going for longer, but maybe not and that’s okay too.

5. Preview the work and then take a break

  • By suggesting that your child just preview the work and not actually do any of it, you remove a lot of potential stress about how difficult the work will actually be. 
  • While they are having fun taking a break, their brain is still thinking about how to approach the work. So then when it’s time to get back to work, they already have some ideas on what to do, making it easier to just get started again.

6. Start using “Brain Breaks”

  • As Stacy Vernon from the Center for Brain Health writes, you need to “take frequent brain breaks to ‘recharge’ your mental energy.” Pushing yourself beyond the point of mental exhaustion stresses the brain. 
  • Building in brain down-time every day helps alleviate the stress that builds up throughout the day and can result in a feeling of mental exhaustion and low-level anxiety. 
  • Consider the 5 x 5 method, “taking 5 minutes of down time 5 times throughout the day.” Spend these times doing something that is relaxing to you! These brain breaks are meant to be times of zero effort thought – not zero thought at all.”

7. Use explicit instructions. 

  • When you have clear goals and steps to achieve the goals, it’s much easier to get started on the first step. 
  • You can help your child by giving them explicit instructions when you ask them to do stuff and by going through any assignments, cooking instructions, engineering project instructions (like Legos) with them ahead of time and answering any questions they have about what they mean, or showing them what those instructions mean. That will give them practice understanding what it looks like to follow instructions or to figure out the steps based on what is assigned. 

8. Figure out if you should do the hard stuff or the easy stuff first.

  • Talk to your child about what you prefer to do and point out opportunities that they have to figure it out for themselves. 

Resources:

Brain Breaks

Center for BrainHealth

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!

Definitions, Difficult Topics, Easy Action Items, Executive Functions Training, Parent Tips, The Happy Student Podcast

#105 Emotional Games with Alison Smith

We so often value logic and discount the value of emotions – well not today! Today, parent coach Alison Smith tells us about the importance of emotions and gives us ideas on how to help our kids develop their emotional intelligence.

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE BELOW: 

[smart_podcast_player]

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

The importance of emotional intelligence is beyond just knowing that we have emotions and your children have emotions, so we need to deal with them.

Emotional Quotient (EQ) is our emotional intelligence. Our EQ is a better predictor of our future success than IQ.

When we are unable to identify within ourselves a particular emotion that we are feeling, it stays stuck inside. So, we don’t deal with it in a proactive and healthy manner. 

When we can pinpoint the exact emotion that we are experiencing, we can physically feel a change. It feels lighter and less intimidating. We can grow in our confidence, take a deep breath, and feel more ready to take on what we are faced with. 

In the English language there are about 30,000 words related to emotions. But, we typically only use about twelve words. Until we can state the emotion that is very specific to what we are feeling, we are still stuck. The emotion will then grow until we explode, leak, or both. 

By growing our emotional vocabulary development and recognizing it within ourselves and others we grow our empathy towards what it is others are experiencing. If we can pinpoint the emotions others are feeling (or take our best guess), then we can almost immediately feel more compassion towards them. Our interactions and communication will then be very different once we get a sense of where they are coming from. This can change relationships at home between parents with their children, couples, and parents with grandparents.  

Alison recommends a card game called You EQ that can help build one’s EQ.

  • There are cards called Conversational EQ because we are using conversation to develop our intelligence and also using conversation in the real world after the game.
  • Each card has an emotion on it. The simplest way to play is to identify the feeling that you have on your card and then say something about your thinking in relation to the emotion.  
  • There is no big conversation about it. There isn’t any feedback for each other, besides saying, “Thanks for sharing.”
  • This game should ideally be played several times a week for approximately ten minutes. It can be played with your kids, colleagues, work team, etc.
  • This game will help retrain your brain and improve conversation. 
  • There are about five different ways to play with each deck and each deck has a different focus. So, there is always something new. 

Other recommendations:

  • Today I Feel…: An Alphabet of Feelings
    • This book helps grow your child’s emotional vocabulary, which is an important starting place for emotional intelligence. 
  • The Ungame 
    • This is a non-competitive board game that works on improving your social and communication skills.  

References & Resources:

Alison Smith Parent Coach

You EQ Games

The Ungame

Today I Feel…: An Alphabet of Feelings

Michele Borba’s book: UnSelfie: How Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All About Me World

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!

Parent Tips, Self-Advocacy, The Happy Student Podcast

#104 What “They Say” about Parenting with Lauren Jumrukovski

“They say” a lot of things about how you should raise your children and it can be totally overwhelming and stressful when what “they say” just isn’t practical for you and your children. Our guest, Lauren from They Say Parenting is here to tell you it’s okay and to talk about how she let go of what “they say” and how you can too!

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE BELOW: 

[smart_podcast_player]

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

About They Say Parenting

  • Everyone says something different about how one should parent, that it makes it difficult to know what is best.
  • It is best to go with your gut because you know your children and their habits more than anybody.
  • Lauren wants parents to know that they are not alone if they feel anxiety about the “rules” of parenting.

Goals for “They Say Parenting” blog

  • You are not alone in this.
  • We are great parents, mistakes and all. It’s ok not to be perfect, and in fact, it might even be better.
  • We don’t always have to listen to what “they say” because there is no substitute for experience.  
  • The blog is an uplifting place that make parents feel better. A place that make parents feel confident knowing they are doing the right thing because it’s what they think is best.

Personal experiences from Lauren

  • She felt pressure to breastfeed; however, it ended up not working for both her and her children. So, she made the decision to use formula in order to provide her children with the nutrients they needed.
  • It’s ok to do something different that doesn’t follow the rules.
  • For example, it’s alright to not have a super healthy dinner once in awhile.

Topics on Lauren’s blog and her upcoming book, They Say, Not Your Average Parenting Book

  • Her honest experiences as a parent.
  • Ideas/hacks/activities that have made parenting easier for her.
  • It is not your average parenting book.
  • Do’s and don’ts that have helped Lauren navigate parenting.
  • Reminders that it is normal to question oneself as a parent.
  • There are real tips from a real parent.
  • Focus on your intuition or gut when parenting.
  • You know best!

“There are occasions and instances where it doesn’t matter what ‘they’ say or what ‘they’ think, you just have to do what works.”

They Say Parenting

Order Lauren’s Book: They Say… (Not Your Average Parenting Book)

TheySayParenting on Instagram

@TSParenting on Twitter

TheySayParenting on Pinterest

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!

Difficult Topics, Great for All Ages, Parent Tips, The Happy Student Podcast

#103 What’s the Hubbub Surrounding Spanking? (with Alison Smith)

The American Academy of Pediatrics just put out a strongly worded statement arguing against spanking because the AAP argues that spanking can harm kids. This is controversial because a lot of parents spank their kids as part of discipline and no one wants to hear that they are doing the wrong thing, especially when they feel like they don’t have a good alternative. So what’s the deal with spanking? And are there good alternatives?

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE BELOW: 

[smart_podcast_player]

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

The American Academy of Pediatrics just put out a strongly worded statement arguing against spanking because the AAP argues that spanking can harm kids.

What are the arguments in favor of spanking?

  • “I got spanked and I turned out fine.”
    • Years of research show that most people who were spanked usually aren’t “fine”.
      • Anecdotal evidence vs. research based evidence
        • Anecdotal evidence is a true story of one person in one particular set of circumstances in his/her own results.
        • Research takes lots of anecdotal evidence into account and the person’s particular circumstances, as well.
    • Is it really worth the risk?

What are the consequences of spanking?

  • It does do harm, but it often appears over time.
  • We have laws and ethical standards against hitting animals, spouses, strangers, so how are children biologically different that makes hitting them ok?
  • Any force, whether physical, emotional, etc., from a larger adult to a child has subtle and significant impacts.
  • The idea of spanking is to inflict at least temporary pain or discomfort.
    • How can we then say that it is not causing pain or discomfort?
  • When they are touched in a private area (the buttock) that they are supposed to protect; they feel shame and humiliation because they’ve had no choice in that.
    • This causes uncertainty and confusion about whether the buttock is a private part of the body.
    • Children can’t articulate this, but they know that something feels off, uncomfortable, or “icky.”
    • Under the age of approximately seven, children have not developed in the part of the brain that judges whether something they see or hear is true or not. So, if someone they love/respect and has a place of power does something to them and says it’s their fault, children take that in internally that they are bad and have done something wrong. They don’t even know how or why, but they feel uncomfortable, knows it has something to do with the private parts of their bodies, and that they must deserve it if this loving person is doing this to them.

Many parents believe that they have to spank their child. There are interventions that work just as well in the short term and are better for the long-term, without the risks associated with spanking.

What are a few good discipline techniques?

  • Allow them to feel like they can come for help without the fear of something bad or uncomfortable happening that may cause them to lose part of that connection they have with you. Then there’s an opportunity to work with your children to help them see the possible outcomes of all of their choices, which then builds the trust and connection between you and your children for next time so they will be more likely to come back to ask for guidance.
    • Keep a good, open communication with your child.
    • The decision making part of the brain does not fully develop until the child is 25-30 years old.
  • Teach the problem solving process and give them safe practice.  
  • Expect them to mess up.
    • There was a fear of messing up because of the thought of being in trouble. This kept us from taking healthy risks and from learning important things. It stifled us.
    • Our goal is to teach them in the moment how to make those right decisions.

But, there has to be consequences sometimes…

  • Consequences are a natural result of something.
  • Some consequences we don’t want them to experience.
  • It takes time and intentional effort.
    • We need new skills to teach us how to do this.

Where do parents go for help now that parenting has changed?

  • Parents can visit a
    • Parenting specialist
    • Therapist with specialized backgrounds in parenting/family dynamics, relationships, problem solving
    • Parenting consultant/coach/educator.
      • They focus on prevention. They consider relationship as much as possible.
  • Follow the links below.

What constitutes spanking? I have a friend who gives her son just a little tap when he’s messing up and she argues that he immediately stops and corrects his behavior. She argues that this is not spanking.

  • I would argue that it is in fact a form of spanking – she is hitting her child and that is physical punishment. And I think that teaches the child that hitting is okay – because his mom is modeling that behavior for him.
  • It teaches that might makes right.
    • Whomever has the size, strength, or power, and if they are motivated enough then they can use their size, strength, or power and it’s ok.
  • It confuses the child on what’s private, what their in charge of, and what someone in power can do.

Summary of how spanking is harmful:

  • There’s more than physical harm. It affects the way they think, the way they internalize the mistakes that they’re making, and it has a lasting impact.
    • Parenting is the most important relationship.
    • People can heal, but it takes more work to counteract those early years.
  • Being spanked has been linked to lower self-esteem, depression, masochism, and psychological distress.
    • It has an emotional affect.
  • It impacts the relationship between parents and children when power is taken out of the equation. The bond and trust we have is important to protect.

References & Resources:

Alison Smith Parent Coach

A Gift from Alison Smith: The Gentle Parenting Manifesto from

The Happy Student episodes on discipline:

“The General Rules of Discipline”

“Types of Discipline”

“Giving Logical Consequences”

“What To Do When Your Kid ‘Talks Back’ with Alison Smith”

“The Bizarre Time-Out Controversy”

“Lighthouse Parenting”

Debra L. Stang has put together some excellent arguments against spanking, using both research and common myths in favour of physical punishment. I shared a number of points from her article. https://nospank.net/stang2.htm

GENERAL SPANKING RESEARCH LINKS

https://stopspanking.org/research/

https://stopspanking.org/2013/06/20/what-researchers-say-about-spanking/

Hard-hitting essay on the evolution of society’s view of what constitutes violence.

https://medium.com/@tommycrow/parents-who-spank-should-be-worried

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!

Great for All Ages, Parent Tips, Stress Management, The Happy Student Podcast

#102 How To Be Happy and Fulfilled So Your Kids Are Too

Our kids do as we do. And what we want for them is to be happy and fulfilled. So, if they’re going to be like us, we need to be happy and fulfilled so they can be. Easier said than done. Fireborn’s got 7 tips that intertwine so you can do multiple at a time for maximum happiness efficiency, so that your kids can learn how to be just like you.

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE BELOW: 

[smart_podcast_player]

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

  1. Give yourself some quiet time.
    1. Take time to meditate, to reflect on the day, and to daydream, and maybe to practice some yoga.
    2. You can specifically set aside time for quiet time in a specific place and your kids know they are not to bother you while you are there (or they can quietly join you in your quiet time).
      1. Put on some classical music that is a cue to your kids that it is your reflection time. If your kids interrupt or ask, definitely tell them what you are doing and why. They will start to interrupt you less and less and they may even start to join you.
  2. Put the phone and social media away.
    1. The real problem is “reverse FOMO”. You’re not missing out on anything online. But by always being online you’re missing out on life.
    2. So stop the scrolling and live in the real world more often.
    3. This gives more time for that quiet reflection.
  3. Spend more time having conversations with people (in person if possible).
    1. Use phones to make plans to hang out with people, but avoid using it to catch up. If you can’t meet up in person, a phone call is way better than texting.
    2. That personal connection is so much more powerful and healthy and joy-producing than seeing life updates on Instagram.
  4. Give and get a lot of hugs (with consent obviously).
    1. As Eric Barker puts it, “Hugs make you happier.”
  5. Make plans and do stuff together with your friends.
    1. Don’t just talk with your friends, do stuff together! Learn a new activity together!
    2. Eric says, “Someone else is not doing cooler things than you because they have “more time”. It’s because they have different priorities.”
  6. Have a hobby and make sure your leisure time is high quality.
    1. Hobbies are things we are passionate about. Things we like to do, skills we like to learn, and challenges we like to overcome.
  7. Remember to focus on your values.
    1. People are prioritizing doing cool stuff because that is what they value.
    2. We don’t even think about how to spend our free moments. Somehow it just happened that every time we have a second, we check our phone. So you have to figure out what you value and remind yourself of those values to get  motivated to not check and scroll forever and to do that cool stuff instead. You have to be intentional with your time.

Reference:

Barker, E. (2019) This is the most powerful way to make your life fantastic. Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!

Difficult Topics, Executive Functions Training, Great for All Ages, Stress Management, The Happy Student Podcast

#101 Emotional Control

It can be really difficult for kids to focus on school work when they’re having social troubles and yet sometimes we have to sit through class or study for a test even though we are going through tough times. We have to be able to control our emotions in order to get stuff done. Learning to control our emotions when it’s hard requires learning how to do that when our emotions aren’t out of control. Fireborn’s got 6 tips to help you help your kid control their emotions when times are easy so that they are easier to control when times are hard.

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE BELOW: 

[smart_podcast_player]

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…

Peg Dawson and Richard Guare state that you have good emotional control if you agree with the following three statements:

1.     My emotions seldom get in the way when performing on the job.

2.     Little things do not affect me emotionally or distract me from the task at hand.

3.     I can defer my personal feelings until after the task has been completed.

It can be really difficult for kids to focus on school work when they’re having social troubles, maybe they just had a fight with their friend or maybe they didn’t do well on a test and they feel anxious about it. Those anxious or sad emotions can get in the way of focusing in the current class. It can be distressing to have to wait until recess to talk to your friend to repair the relationship. It’s okay to have those distressed, anxious, sad emotions. It’s normal. It’s natural.

So, emotional control is not about not feeling emotions. It’s about recognizing that you have that emotion, but not letting it get in the way of you doing what you need to do. We do not want our emotions to control us.

Your child is feeling sad because their friend hurt their feelings. But he/she can’t always mend the relationship right away. He/she has to be able to get stuff done even though he/she is dealing with a lot of emotions. So how do he/she do that?

We need to calm down – but I would NEVER recommend saying that to anyone. Saying “Calm down” to someone invalidates their feelings, making them feel like you don’t understand, and so they get further enraged. So instead of saying, “Calm down”, we work on techniques for calming down, like meditation.

  • Practicing 10 minutes of meditation a day when we are already calm helps us to realize when we are getting agitated and need to meditate in other situations.
  • Finding an app like Calm or a CD or activity book for meditation like Sitting Still Like a Frog can help teach your child to notice when their emotions are overwhelming them and can give them strategies to calm themselves down.

Another technique you can teach your kid for calming down is to teach them how to realize when they are flipping their lid. Flipping your lid is one way experts use to describe what’s happening in your brain when your emotions take charge.

  • To describe flipping your lid goes like this…
  • Use your hand closed as a fist to represent your brain. Your palm is the “downstairs” brain – the emotional part of your brain. The downstairs emotional part of your brain quickly determines threats and reacts.
  • The upstairs part of your brain are your fingers covering that palm when your hand is in a fist. The upstairs part of your brain is the logical, problem solving part of your brain. So it works with the downstairs brain to figure out if there is really a threat and what to do about it.
  • When you are calm, your upstairs and downstairs brain are working together nicely to sort through your emotions and problem solve anything that pops up.
  • But when we get overwhelmed, we “flip our lid” – when that happens the fingers rise up and your upstairs brain is no longer connected to your downstairs brain. Your downstairs brain, your emotions, have taken control. And you can no longer think clearly and problem solve.

Then you teach them the trick to getting back to that brain that looks like a fist where the downstairs and upstairs are working well together – and the trick is to BREATHE.

  • Breathing out slowly cools off your downstairs brain and allows your upstairs brain to come back and work with your emotions. So each time you flip your lid, count how many breaths you need to take until your lid has come back down.

Exercise is also always a good option for getting your emotions back in check. There is something about using up all that anxious or angry energy that helps us to re-center ourselves.

Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg recommends that you “Blank it out” which means that you fill in the blank and write it out, dance it out, sing it out, draw it out, or whatever you want to blank it out.

Finally, to prepare for times when you know your emotions could get out of control, role play the scenario at home first.

  • Problem solve ahead of time so that when they get to the scary situation they are equipped with strategies to deal with their anxiety.

To summarize… to help your child develop emotional control:

1.     Meditate

2.     Teach your kids about flipping their lid

3.     Teach your kids the solution to flipping their lid: breathing

4.     Exercise

5.     Blank it out

6.     Role play

Resources:

Calm

Flipping Your Lid

Sitting Still Like a Frog

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode! Comment below or send us an email!

HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Want to be the first to know when a new episode is released? Click here to subscribe to The Happy Student on iTunes!

Podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we can receive, the more likely we will be able to get our podcast and important messages in front of more parents! I would greatly appreciate if you clicked here and left a review letting me know your thoughts on this episode!