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  • Tanya Kemp

Making quiet time rewarding

So we all know that we love to have a break and enjoy some peace and quiet. This is true for our children also, they just don't know it yet.

In baby massage I talk about creating a positive experience of separation from a situation, in an attempted replacement to time out. For young children we can teach this early by using the massage as a positive time out take a break experience. When using massage we create the environment with the use of the oils, special blanket or towel and as the child ages we can add special toys that are just for massage time. By using these cues and props we can then use "It's massage time or Quiet time" with the addition of these special toys used only for this time and thus creating a positive break to look forward to. Instead of getting Out of Control we can teach to regulate and make taking a break fun.

In schools, and homes, we have used bean bags to allow children to remove themselves when not coping, or feeling out of control. The bean bag gives them the permission, as well as a gentle hug, and then allows them to regroup and return to the class/home situation. The pressure encouraging relaxation and calming of the nerves and enabling the child to learn the difference and enjoy having this self control.

These techniques teach them that taking a break is a positive thing rather than missing out.

Hammocks are a great resource around the home and learning to lie still is an art form...or we fall out!

Demonstrating/modelling enjoyable time out instead of "I'm done and I need a break" at breaking point. Show them to enjoy a quiet book, colour in or take a stroll rather than a power walk. To look around and take in what is around them rather than what is being put in front of them to stimulating them.

At work we have aerial yoga, so I love giving our bubs and children a turn in the cacoon hammock. These can be created at home with a sheet held by mum and dad for smaller children, or invest in a hammock for older children. The cacoon/hammock gives them support, movement and closure from outside stimulation. Until they learn to lie still, or just for enjoyment, it can swing, creating a rhythm, to help soothe the nerves and make them feel good with those happy chemicals by doing things that are fun.

Those who are more active might teach your children some yoga moves or how to stretch...it's all about sharing those enjoyable experiences and creating a positive distraction, giving the body a chance to regroup, and then to continue in a positive manner rather than spiralling into destruction and ending up in punishment or removal.

We can teach self regulation and awareness, thus reduce destructive behaviours and anxieties. Starting them young will create this as a positive habit and a much more positive self reward to learn and treat ourselves with.



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