SPEAK EASY by Kirsten Alexander

Expressing emotion is a vital part of being human, but sometimes emotions get out of control, especially in children ' leading to over excitement, aggression or hysteria
Children are learning all the time, but something they're not too good at in the early years is understanding and controlling their emotions. This may lead to angry outbursts that don't seem appropriate, over-excitement and even anxiety. The first steps to helping children be, or become calm is communication.   NO WORDS Shouting at the top of your voice, 'calm down' isn't going to get the result you want. Even adults don't react well to that demand. With children, it's even less likely to help and may even cause them to suppress whatever feelings were making them less than calm. Being calm yourself is going to have a much better effect. If a child is completely out of control, having a tantrum or running around in an over-excited squeal, simply give them a good bear hug and include a little bit of rocking motion.   Once they're quieter, have a conversation. Small children often don't have the words to express their feelings, so you'll need to prompt them by asking questions. For example, 'did you feel cross because you think I wasn't listening?'; 'are you tired/hungry/thirsty?'; 'did you feel embarrassed/shy when such and such happened?'. Bring the prevailing emotion to the core and then discuss the feeling. Simply having your calm voice, and time with you, is going to go a long way to calming your child.   When it comes to over-excitement, you'll probably be reluctant to put a damper on their enthusiasm. So, once again a conversation is best. Capture your child and get them to talk about what they're excited about, why they're excited and infuse the conversation with your own calm enthusiasm. Quite often over-excitement happens when something out of the ordinary is taking place. Children thrive with boundaries, so you also need to be understanding if they get a little out of control when their regular routine is disrupted.   GAINING CONTROL If the above sounds impossible for your little monster, then consider the bear hug to be more of a restraining moment. Something that is incredibly helpful for children is to learn the basics of yoga breathing. Once they've learnt how to breathe, you'll be able to simply say, 'let's breathe a bit' and it will assist in getting them to re-focus attention on breathing, and away from whatever was getting them all excited. Practise with your child by helping them feel the breath ' get them to put a hand on their diaphragm and feel the in-and-out movement as they breath. This will not only serve as a meditation, but will also infuse their blood with oxygen.   KEEP CALM AND EAT ORGANIC Of course, food has an incredible influence on behaviour and certainly highly processed or refined food and sugars are an absolute no-no for children. The more nutritious the food your child is eating, the more likely their body is to function optimally ' and this goes a long way towards avoiding glucose highs and lows. So, stock up on fresh and organic food and avoid carbonated or sweetened drinks. But that doesn't mean they need to forgo all sweet treats and neither does it mean water only.   Thirst Quenchers Instead of high-sugar fruit juice or fizzy drinks, make your own iced tea, sweetened with stevia or liquorice and infuse it with one of the following herbs known to assist in calming:
  • Chamomile
  • Lime blossom
  • Valerian
  • Wild lettuce
  • Lemon balm
  Snack time Coconut flour brownies Ingredients 1/3 cup     Coconut oil ' cup        Cocoa/carob powder 6        Large eggs 1 cup        Coconut sugar ' cup        Almond milk ' cup        Coconut flour Method Heat oven to 180 degrees Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan with the cocoa/carob powder then remove from heat and allow to cool Whisk the eggs, coconut sugar, milk and a pinch of salt in a large bowl Briskly whisk the cocoa/carbo mixture and add in the coconut flour. Add all ingredients together and mix until well combined Pour batter into greased, square baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes   DID YOU KNOW: Traditional Chinese Medicine views hyperactivity as a result of a hot liver? A diet which is too acidic contributes to irritability and agitation in children.   SLEEP TITE Bedtime is often fraught with fights and moaning. Over-tired children tend to become particularly cranky and a beautiful way of overcoming this is massage. Not only does it help to calm your child down and get them off to sleep, it also ensures a serene time of touch, which makes a massive difference to overwrought little minds. Use lavender oil to massage your child as it also encourages peaceful sleep. Simply add 12-15 drops of lavender oil to 50ml of carrier oil (sweet almond is a good one) and gently rub onto your child's back and front torso. The softly warm movements of your hands will make bedtime a lot easier. REMEMBER THE CAUSE Even if your child runs you ragged from a natural inclination towards bursts of frenetic energy, it's important to be aware of the times that these bursts take place, as well as the situations surrounding any perceived uncontrollable behaviour. Before blowing a fuse, consider your own actions ' if you're stressed or angry, there's a good chance your child is going to react negatively. Then, also consider the circumstances ' has something different or exciting happened? Is your child reacting to something or is their behaviour out of context? If you think it's out of context, a conversation is the best way to begin ' to get to the root cause. If it's circumstantial, have a little understanding and then do what you can to create a more peaceful environment ' once again a conversation and a hug are the best ways to begin.  

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