I love being a mom. I repeat, LOVE it. BUT I'm a planner and when things don't go to plan, I find myself feeling defeated and exhausted - for example...today.
Today, we went to the dentist. For my almost 9-year-old this was a treat. She relishes the reprieve from school, treasures the trinket of a prize, the sticker, and the new toothbrush and always ALWAYS leaves that chair with a good report. For her 2-year-old sister, the trip was an utter nightmare.
I'll spare you the details, but say this - I found myself wishing I had somehow better prepared her for a situation that caused so much anxiety.
She went from nervous to scared to just plain MAD and there was NOTHING that I could do to help.
We fought through it and both came out red-faced, teary-eyed, and exhausted. I bought her affection back later with a trip through the Chick-fil-a drive-through and a $40 toy from Target. #smh
So, what did I do next? I googled.
I had no idea how much my kids could benefit from deep breathing exercises. Here are just 10 of the many benefits:
Helps you to remain calm
Strengthens sustained attention
Sharpens the ability to focus and learn
Slows the heart rate
Lowers blood pressure
Helps to control your emotions
Promotes appropriate social behaviors
Next, how do you start?
It's important to practice when your child is calm.
You can even make it fun with visual stimuli - blow bubbles, inflate a balloon, blow feathers in the air or off of a table, blow through a straw to spread paint on paper...anything that requires your child to exhale.
Breathing is something you can practice with your child every day, helping them to understand that taking deep breaths allows our body to relax, slows our heart rate, and helps us to avoid "fight or flight" mode when threatening situations arise.
While googling, I found this helpful printable for Bumblebee Breathing - http://d3eizkexujvlb4.cloudfront.net/2017/05/23055142/Breathing-Breaks-Freebie.pdf
We'll be practicing at home, and I'll be soaking up the benefits right along with our little ones, so look for future notes on our progress.
Sometimes, no matter our age, I think we all need a little reminder to just STOP and BREATHE. I know I needed it today.