Post-Holiday Hangover

The glimmer and glow of the holiday season has seemingly come to an end.  The lights and decorations go back in their boxes, the tree is put away (or finds its new purpose as mulch), and the joy of opening presents will need to wait until the next birthday or holiday event. Although most of us are just fine with the holiday season ending and look forward to going back to the usual, some of us, especially kiddos, struggle with the shift.

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Child(ish) Reads for Kids: Emotional Regulation

For the last two weeks, we’ve been talking about emotional regulation and how we can model and assist our kids to be more mindful in tough situations. In this episode of Childish Reads, we wanted to flip the script and pick books for kids to help with this type of regulation at early ages.

Last week, Mary and I hopped down to Barnes and Noble to find some new and classic kids books to help lay the foundation for emotional recognition and processing.

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Cheer Up, Emo Kid…

A couple weeks ago, my toddlers where downstairs in their playroom. We were just hanging out after snack, and my daughter Aeris decided to play with a set of Leapfrog building blocks, similar to Duplo.

Aeris is much more independent compared to her sister, and is very focused on what she wants to do with her toys. In this case, she wanted to take all the single blocks and build one tall, skinny tower.

She had about four blocks left when her tower started to bow and snap. She tried reassembling it but once it got too tall, it wouldn’t stay upright. She is only about 3′ tall, and she could not keep a hand on the tower and attach the last few blocks to the top at the same time.

I could see her frustration every time the tower fell. She was getting red in the face, she was slamming down blocks trying to get them to fasten tighter, and she was refusing to let her sister help her. More importantly, she hated that her vision of what she wanted to do wasn’t working.

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Why So Emo? Frustration and Emotional Regulation

The first five years of your child’s life is bursting with curiosity, exploration, and…emotions. One moment, they’re happy and the next, they’re bawling their eyes out because you gave them the wrong color cup or because they can’t fit a square peg into a round hole.

In our past post about self-regulation, kids need to adjust their arousal levels to meet and manage the energy demands of their tasks throughout the day. This includes how to appropriately handle emotions.

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