At the latest Preschool for All presentation, our Milne Grove Principal, Jaime Koziol presented on calming techniques and ideas for preschool. Many of these ideas are good for all families, especially those with children in a few different age groups.
When we look at students and families who are good at staying calm, we see many of the same attributes: self-management, self-awareness, responsible decision making, relationship skills, and social awareness. We know that these students like school, like their friends and families, and do better in school with better attendance and grades. Your schools are doing lessons to help some of the student improve these attributes, but there are also things you can do to help at home.
The best thing you can do to help is being a good role model. You can model being calm. You can model how to act and react when times get stressful. When you manage frustration and frustrating events with control and a positive attitude, your child watches and learns from these behaviors. But what can you do beyond this? Talk about family problems during times when no one is upset, when everyone is calm. Make sure your child continually feel included and appreciated. Give them positive attention when they are upset, rather than telling them they are in trouble for being upset. Model good language to use when you are upset.
One of the best ways for us to model staying calm is by staying quiet. I also think when adults keep their bodies low and crouch down to below the height of the child, this is another way to stay quiet. This staying quiet will also help you listen to your child more actively. This active listening gives you time to understand what they are trying to communicate, but also to make them feel listened to and heard! Calmly tell them the response you need to give as parents, but only once they have finished talking.
The link below has more ways to stay calm and help your child stay calm.
Erin Rae is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.