Last week I wrote about the Relax Kids book and CD which helps calm my HSC’s mind at bedtime. This week I want to share another tool which we have used to help close down in the evening, put the day behind us and prepare for a new day.
It’s called the Slaapklets book but the issue for the non-Dutch speakers amongst you is that it is actually a Dutch book. There are prompts and pictures with check boxes to sum up how your child feels. There are breathing and visualisation exercises and fun things to try – all with the aim of calming a child’s mind. So, if you speak Dutch I cannot reccomend this book enough as a way to get your child to talk about their day. There is also a Slaapklets deel 2 recently out.
For those who don’t speak Dutch I got to thinking how else you could achieve the same result with other resources. My favourite journal supplier Gadanke suddenly sprung to mind. Katie, the brains behind this amazing series of journals, hand makes a range of journals, some of which are designed specifically for children.
The beauty of writing down emotions, writing about your day, is that it allows your mind to be free of those thoughts. It’s out there, captured on paper and we can move on in our heads. Encouraging your child to talk about their day, to write down the highlights and the lowlights gives them a chance to process and digest anything that has happened that day – good and bad. It also gives them a time capsule to refer back to, to see that they got through a day like this before. A journal gives a child a place to capture their dreams, write down the silly and the crazy, put their own thoughts straight.
Gadanke has two journals available which are purposefully designed to be passed between daughter and mother, or between a mother and her son. The purpose of these journals are summed up on the Gadanke site:
- Reflect on everyday joy, kindness, and gratitude.
- Think about relationships with other people and how we treat one another.
- Build self-esteem.
- Address the hard, frustrating, and scary stuff.
- Bond with Mom.
There are five very good reasons indeed to get a HSC writing in such a journal. And there are lots more. Writing things down helps clarify things in your child’s mind; it’s a great way of getting perspective. Getting emotions on paper is also a great way of relieving tension and stress and may just get your child thinking about solutions to issues and problems instead of allowing them to escalate. Those who journal also get to know themselves a little better – what makes you happy, angry or sad? What situations make you stressed? When are you at your happiest?
When tensions get high, when buckets get full, encourage your child to create a page of words, a page of sentences or a page of pictures or doodles – filling pages empties their minds.
(Katie’s journals are available in the UK from Amazon.)