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Teaching Kids Healthy Habits Teaching Kids Healthy Habits

Monday Mantra: Three Deep Breaths, One Big Calm

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It's coming, sooner than you may think. The signs are everywhere - literally -- in store windows, in the newspaper, on TV ads. You notice the bright, new backpacks and piles of pencils as you push your cart along the superstore's aisles. Your email's inbox is full of sales for uniforms and cute cardigans. Yes, I'm talking back-to-school, people.

Is your summer filled with lazy days, sleeping in, and later bedtimes? We call it "vacation routine" in our house... kind of odd, as there isn't much of a routine while the kiddo isn't in school. Making it ohthatmuch harder when the first days of school roll around, and yes, that alarm clock, that school bell, that homework start up again.

Just thinking about heading back to school and how hard it may be to get back into routine makes this mama a little anxious - and could make your children a bit nervous too, especially if they are entering a new school or have to remember a locker combination for the first time.

One super-easy trick to help your kids conquer those pesky first-day nerves, as well as a fantastic hint to calm everybody on one of those mornings (when you are out of coffee filters, had three wardrobe battles, and the cereal has been spilled...twice) - stop and take a few deep breaths.

It's our body's natural instinct to hold our breath when we get nervous, upset, afraid, tense - take your pick. We do it and don't even know we are doing it. When that happens, when we don't get full breaths, it makes the jittery or angry feelings even worse.

Try it and see what happens. A tried-and-true relaxation technique, you just take a deep breath in through your nose, let it fill your chest and stomach, hold it for a few seconds, and then release it through your mouth. Not only does it do the body good, focusing on taking the deep breaths really switches your mental gears, which may be all you or your child needs to get through a rough spot.

The great thing about deep breaths: your kids can do it anywhere - the bathroom stall, while sitting at their desk or on the bus, while walking down the hallway - and no one, not even their BFFs, will know.

So, tell your kids about this little idea. Practice it together. Have them remind you and vice versa. Be sure to show them when you do it when you are a tad, ahem, annoyed at losing the car keys again and say out loud how much those few deep breaths help you feel better and focus to find those ding-dang keys (in the fridge - how'd they get there?).

Share your hints on when the morning routine -- or any part of your day -- doesn't go so well!

by on Aug. 8, 2011 at 12:00 AM
Replies (21-30):
amonkeymom
by Amy on Aug. 18, 2011 at 2:50 PM

My kids start back next week and I've made a few new rules for this year.

My 14 year old will be starting earlier than ever, so she'll be showering & blowdrying her hair every night, instead of her current routine of doing it in the mornings.

Breakfast will be premade or cereal/oatmeal.  Eggs, breakfast burritos, pancakes, etc are all easy to make ahead of time and just warm up in the microwave.

Barabell
by on Aug. 18, 2011 at 3:27 PM

I try to do prep the night before (like have backpacks ready and lunches packed), and the less that has to be done in the morning, the more smoothly it seems to go.

NearSeattleMom
by Member on Aug. 19, 2011 at 3:21 AM

That's a great idea . . . could've used it the other night when I discovered my son's lunch box in his backpack . . . he brought it home filled with tiny ants!

fairymom2316
by New Member on Aug. 19, 2011 at 12:18 PM

My dd is usually pretty good at getting up in the morning. We'll see how my son does now that it's his first year of going to school. I do have certain mornings where I'm stressed but I usually take deep breaths and it calms me down =)

LancesMom
by Member on Aug. 19, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Mine is waiting to sign up for more classes, but he wants to soon!

fairymom2316
by New Member on Aug. 19, 2011 at 12:18 PM

 

Quoting NearSeattleMom:

That's a great idea . . . could've used it the other night when I discovered my son's lunch box in his backpack . . . he brought it home filled with tiny ants!

Oh no!! lol

MizzouRah
by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 1:01 PM

I'm a breath holder for sure when I feel stressed in the mornings. I have to go the bathroom and count to 10 then come back out with a smile on my face :)

DNewman
by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 8:43 PM

My kids are horrible to get out of bed. Not looking forward to this.

ARmom
by on Aug. 20, 2011 at 8:57 AM

I head to Starbucks and treat myself. :)

gacgbaker
by Bronze Member on Aug. 21, 2011 at 5:32 AM

Taking deep breaths can really help- and just going into it with the mind set of what really matters- in 15 years is it going to matter that one morning you were running a little late?  No, probably not- but it is more likely to matter how your kids see you handling the stress and that you are giving them grace and showing them love despite the spilled cereal, the lost shoe, and toothpaste stain on the shirt. 

I also try to wake up a little earlier to get a jump start on the day- it helps if I am ready by the time the kids get up and my husband and I have had some time in the morning together.  That means I need to go to bed a little earlier too, but it's worth it. 

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