Thursday, November 3, 2011

Calm down jar

I posted a few months ago about the "thundering threes" that Annika is going through.  Things have not improved too much since then.  Sure, we have good moments, or even good days, but overall, it's still pretty challenging.  Some days I feel like pulling my hair out.  Sometimes I'm at a complete loss as to what to do - how to handle the tears and the tantrums and the complete meltdowns; what to do when no punishment seems to have an effect.  The past month has been particularly challenging, since we've been very busy and it seems to have taken its toll on Annika.  I'm hoping that this next month will be a little more relaxed, and that more routine and predictability will help Annika (until December comes and that all goes out the window with Christmas coming!).  :P

I came across this idea on Pinterest, and I want to make one of these for Annika.  Hopefully it will be helpful for her.  It's called a "mind" jar or a calm down jar.

       It looks sort of like a snow globe and the purpose of it is to help your child take a few minutes and calm down when they're stressed or upset or angry.  You shake it up and then watch as the glitter swirls around and then gradually settles down.  It can also be used as a "time out" - they have to sit and watch the jar until it settles down, which takes a few minutes. 
I don't know if it will make a difference or not, but at this point, I'm willing to try just about anything.

UPDATE - December 12, 2011 - click here to read my update on how the calm down jar worked for us.


Kristin said...

This past summer was very frustrating for me, as I was laid-up with a broken foot and spent about eight weeks in a cast/walking boot. The kids seemed to know instantly what my limitations were. In order to regain some control, we tried 'Use/Lose Your Marbles' with very limited [read: no] success. Wee Man needs to see black and white, instant action and a very definitive line he is not to cross. He can't remember why he lost a marble, or how many he's supposed to have and to be honest, we often forgot to move the marbles to their respective cups...

I've heard of some people using breathing techniques to calm kids down, sort of yoga-style. It's a physical way for them to calm down. Breathe innnn and ouuuut, innnn and ouuuut... Also, a friend of mine tells her kids to 'calm their bodies down' which I find helps. It's easier for them to understand 'calm your body down' rather than just 'calm down'.

I like the idea of this being used as a time-out device. Though, I'd probably have to find a plastic jar -- I'd be too afraid of Wee Man breaking a glass jar.

Keep us posted, if you decide to use the Calm Down Jar.

Melissa said...

I like this idea as a calming technique. I find with challenging times for Syd and I say you need to take a moment, or take a breath which seems to help for the little things.

I notice with Sydney when she is going through too much or some sort of transitional time that she tends to act out. Perhaps with the transition of school and such?

Have you heard of the hurried child? The premiss is that we live in a society that tends to over-program or over-schedule our children. We have lost touch with letting kids just be kids, explore use their imaginations and take a moment to just be un-hurried.

The best thing I try to remind myself as my very spirited 4 year old grates on my patience is My need to be present, and take heart that she shows you her very worst because she loves you the very most.

I would want to make one of those but instead of glitter I wonder could you use nature stuff like little twigs and leaves and stuff?

You are loved dear friend!

Gin said...

I love reading the way you Mom's work through these issues with your kids. God has blessed you with such amazing hearts. I will continue to pray for each of you as you train these young ones! You and your kids are loved!!