Connecting During Social Distancing
Dr. Dan Siegel's 4- S's of Secure Attachment
Safe - Provide routine and structure. Consistency calms the brain and the body. Create a daily schedule with children that they can check off or make it a picture schedule that they can move around to provide voice and choice.
Seen - Listen and acknowledge feelings. Schedule time to read stories, go for walks and listen.
Soothed - Reassure and provide comforts like snacks, story time, movement.
Secure - The first three result in creating a safe harbor for children to thrive in.
Build Your Daily Schedule Around the Healthy Mind Patter Elements
Identify a menu of options that can satisfy each element and plan your day around them. Vary the activities everyday to keep it fresh.
Dan Siegel "Mind Platter"
Dr. Bruce Perry's Brain Model
The brain develops and functions from the bottom up and the inside out.
Regulate: First, in order to regulate our basic needs must be met. Make sure children have access to nutritious food, snacks and water. Movement is important, so weave in dancing, walking, swinging. Integrate outside time when possible. If a child is dysregulated, (upset, worried, distant), support them by being present without judgement. Cold water, snacks, moving to a different setting (from inside to outside) can re-set the brain.
Relate: Second, Make time for talk time or joint activities like reading books, playing simple games, cooking together etc.
Reason: Last, once children are regulated and know that you are their safe harbor they can learn. Build in academic time each day that is balanced with regulation and relationship building time.
Remember build from the bottom up - first basic needs, comfort and connectedness, then learning.