Friday, 18 December 2015

Releasing Anger, Sadness or Fears With Children

Sometimes I find myself telling my children to “calm down” when they’re upset or crying. When I do, I remind myself that they might not want to be calm. They might be feeling so totally overwhelmed by their worries, anger, fear, sadness, that calming down is the last thing they want to do.
Sometimes, it’s easier to let them release everything by having a really good cry. Crying releases a stress hormone called 
cortisol, which is contained in tears, so this can be a great stress-reliever.
Mindful activities which aim to release emotions are a healthy way of allowing a child to express themselves, especially if they can’t articulate these feelings to others.
This evening I took my restless children for a walk along the beach. We all collected sand to form into a ball, whilst focusing our emotions into the shape forming in our hands.

Then we stood at the edge of the water, and told all of our worries, sadness and any anger to the ball of sand. As we threw the sand as hard and as far as we could into the sea, we shouted into the cool sea air, releasing and letting go of everything we had been holding inside. Then we asked the sea to dissolve the sand balls and anger, washing away the feelings we didn’t want to hold on to, anymore. We all felt better for doing so…I recommend this activity for the whole family, not just children, as I felt the benefits, too! Don’t worry if you’re not by the sea – you could do something similar with a pebble into a river or a lake, or even throw a pair of socks against the bedroom door! Safely channelling anger and difficult emotions can be far healthier than holding it all in, when trying to be “calm” is the opposite of how a child may want to feel.

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