Lunch Bunch Update

What we did today:

For the past couple of weeks, we have been talking about feelings and how to recognize them in ourselves and others. This week we focused on certain feelings, such as frustration, excitement, disappointment and anger, which can become very strong sometimes. When everyone was finished with lunch we learned and practiced a few ways to help our bodies calm down:

1. Put your hand on your tummy and say calming things to yourself, such as "calm down," "I'm going to be ok," or "Jesus, please help me feel calm."

2. Count to yourself, out loud or in your head until you feel calm. Try to picture the numbers as you say them.

3. Belly breathe: Put one hand on your tummy and breathe deep into your belly, feeling your tummy go up and down. As you breathe in, pretend that you are smelling flowers (long, slow and deep breath through the nose). As you breathe out, pretend that you are blowing bubbles (slow and controlled breath through the mouth).

4. Rocks and Spaghetti: tense your whole body as tight as you can and pretend to be a rock while you count to 10. After 10 seconds, relax all your muscles and pretend to be like a loose and floppy spaghetti noodle.

To help practice our breathing, we used a deep breaths chart to help us count 5 deep breaths by placing an X on the number of each breath we took:

Tips for bringing it home:

In addition to helping your child learn to recognize their feelings, you can use everyday interactions to coach your child in self-regulation. Here are a few things to try:

  • Talk to your child about lunch bunch. Ask them to show you their favorite calming exercise that we learned this week.
  • You know your child the best, and can probably tell when their emotions are becoming strong! Reflect for your child how they may be feeling (for example, " Your face is scrunching up and your arms are tense. Your body is telling you that you feeling very frustrated.") Use these opportunities to model a calm reaction, and walk your child through a calming exercise.

Helping your child to recognize and calm their own emotions in everyday interactions will eventually teach them to self-soothe, putting your child in a better emotional state to problem solve and respond to whatever situation may be upsetting or exciting them.