As a parent, when it comes to keeping your household as calm as possible, it helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve to keep the emotional roller coaster from escalating into full blown house of horrors. The act of parenting and indeed the act of growing up isn't a smooth ride, so there is always going to be emotions running high but there are definitely ways to keep things running a bit smoother and less painful for everyone.
It's so important for both you and your children to work at ways of keeping stress levels down as we have enough things making us anxious and stressed in this day and age.
We don't need to add to our own anxiety and our kid's anxiety by constantly having raised voices in the house as we yell at them to do what we ask of them, or as our child is throwing a full blown tantrum on the floor or slamming a door in our face. All emotions are normal and expressing them is extremely healthy but we don't want to have unhealthy forms of anger and volatile emotional explosions going off like bombs around the house.
So I'd like to share just 5 tips to help with keeping a calmer household for both you and your kids.
1. Heart Time
I call getting down on my kids level and just being completely present with them, heart time. It's when you consciously open your heart to theirs and connect with them other than with your actions and words. Without being too cheesy, the gift of your 'presence' it's extremely calming for both you and your children. It means putting phone on silent, clearing a space of time and FULLY being with them while they do whatever they want to do (instead of thinking about the million other things that you still have to get done for example ;). It might be lego, drawing, talking, reading, playing dress ups or make believe or for older kids, just connecting with them on their latest passion somehow (by either joining in or listening to them talk about why they like it) It's been found that just 5 minutes a day of heart time can decrease anxiety in both child and parent.
Magnesium is an important macro mineral that is used up a lot by our nervous system running at a higher speed. If their is any form of anxiety, hyperactivity or even sleep issues in your kids, then Magnesium is a wonderful mineral to get more of! Try epsom salt or magnesium flake baths (1 cup in a bath) or magnesium oil rubbed on the soles of the feet, neck and temples before bedtime. There are some great magnesium supplements for kids out there now too but make sure you ask an in-store naturopath for their recommendation. Foods high in magnesium are dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocado and yoghurt.
Cutting out the known foods that cause behavioural issues in most kids is so important for a calmer house (and healthier kids) so decreasing packet foods and sugar is an excellent start. Food additives, colourings and preservatives really affect the nervous and digestive system which results in mood swings, sleep issues, anxiety and hyperactivity (not to mention what can be going on in the physical body) so be as careful as you can, read ingredient lists when buying packet foods and watch out for numbers and words you can't pronounce. Even just one change of finding a healthier alternative to an often eaten food like this can make a huge difference in your kids behaviour.
4. Don't Over-schedule!
Extra curricular activities and having a social life is important but having all our time accounted for can really increase anxiety and 'acting out' for both kids and parents. Make sure you have days of nothing...days where you can all wake up and stay in pyjamas for a while if that's what you want to do. Afternoons after school that can just unfold and nothing is on that you need to rush to. Always having somewhere to be wires the brain to be 'in fight or flight mode' all the time and without free floating thinking time for the brain, the levels of cortisol (our stress response hormone) in our body are increased. I know it can be hard but start saying no to some things! Put your foot down and have a 'nothing' day scheduled and a couple of nothing 'afternoons' every week. This is so good for the whole family.
5. Flower Essences
Firstly, it's important to note that flower essences aren't here to stop or block emotions. Quite the opposite. They serve as a catalyst for safer, gentler processing of emotions simply by altering the vibrational state of our energy body. This can have a very calm and soothing effect much like meditation has on us (if only we all had the time or skill to meditate every time we needed to process something!) We experience emotions from processing everything that happens to us in our day and that amount of emotion can really build up. Emotion is just energy in motion (e-motion) and flower essences are an energetic or vibrational remedy so we are just helping with the direction of the emotion or energy by taking these drops. Can you imagine everything a child (some who might be experiencing things for the first time) is exposed to every day? The amount of new feelings and emotions that can come up on a daily basis is staggering. Us adults even recognise how much more there is to process these days with the amount of information we have constantly have coming at us via our technology. Kids are also now more exposed to different people from an earlier age due to living closer together in higher populated areas and going to daycare and child minding if both parents work. Interactions with family. Interactions with their friends, carers and teachers. Learning new skills. Seeing or hearing something on the news or on the street that has frightened them or confused them.
Everything has an energetic effect & therefore creates a new emotion and our kids, like us, struggle with processing it all.
This can cause energetic build up or emotional overload and what can often lead to the eruption or volcano effect. So our overflow or eruptions become our tantrums, fights, screaming matches or even retreating further and further into yourself. Again, this is all natural and all normal and even quite healthy but if you could minimise the frequency of them and allow the mind and body to process things a little smoother, it will actually help the nervous system by decreasing the amount of stressful outbursts (which can sometimes add to anxiety in the person and the people around them). So the four flower essence formulations that help our kids (and us!) do exactly this, are outlined below. And I just want to reiterate, flower essence blends are for all ages and the four that I talk about below are just as effective for adults as they are for children.
I find that taking these blends at the same time as my children helps us all so much more.
The energy of the people we are around affects our own energy. And babies and young children even still share the energy body of their mother, so it makes a lot of sense to help calm ourselves down when trying to help calm our children.
More about each of the four blends:
This blend can help centre and bring you back to your body when your energy is scattered due to shock, panic, fear, distress and feeling stressed. Great for night waking, nightmares, night terrors, feelings of anxiousness, after accidents etc. It can be taken as often as needed and at 10-minute intervals until strength and calm is restored.
Amanda says: I purchased this for my 6 year old daughter who is very anxious and wouldn’t do things alone, afraid of sleeping in case of nightmares, and even everyday things like walking to her classroom without me. I started the “Help” Blend and slowly but surely, she became more confident to do things on her own, have a bit more confidence and I could see that her anxiety would be a little less each day. After 3 weeks, she is now more confident and we can’t live without it. She now walks to the classroom on her own – this is a major step for us! She calls it her “It Helps Me” bottle – and after her drops, she is a lot more settled and happier! Bonus is I can give it to my 4 year old son safely as well as he doesn’t want to miss out – and it helps him with his tantrums and nightmares too. We love it!
This blend helps with feelings of impatience, rushing, worry, mind chatter, irritability and scattered, erratic type behaviour. Great for hyperactivity, scattered and erratic behaviour, helps to settle and allows kids to unwind after stimulating activities. Great before and after birthday parties, before school, play dates, meeting new people or whenever they need to have some chill out time! Positive outcome for taking this blend is relaxation, more clarity, calm and inner-peace.
Kate says: We’ve been using this with my son on and off for the last 12 months and have noticed a big change in his behaviour but when we ran out I had to choose between more Slow Down or something else we needed for him and the Slow down drops became our rescue rather than something we used on a regular basis. Since Christmas we’ve been using them several times a day and my son now asks for his Help Drops and his “normal drops”… Because the Slow Down blend makes his head and body feel normal. Now that he’s been able to verbalise that for me I know we can’t compromise with them again and they’ll be a regular part of his life now. Definitely worth the money for anyone with a child who’s brain struggles to shut down or focus!
This blend helps minimise the amount and frequency of emotional eruptions! Everything we have to process on a daily basis can build up in our energy body and often all our emotions are stored for later when it feels 'safe' to let loose. Tantrum Tamer helps us to process and safely release emotions as they occur rather than save them all up for that one big mother load. Also a great blend to use for helping with any emotions surrounding separation difficulties between you and your child so especially good if there are issues with daycare/school drop off etc.
Linda says: Amazing!!! I am loving life with my more calm, happy and relaxed boys!! I feel more confident taking them in public and to friends houses etc now. Thank you so much! The difference is so noticeable and my beautiful kids are back 🙂 it’s so nice being able to help them control their overwhelming emotions when they need it.
A calmer household is always one where you've all enough sleep! Sometimes it’s a struggle to get kids to ‘calm down and unwind’ at night, with so much activity and learning during the day, children don’t know how to commence the process of relaxing at night as their brain is still switched on. Sweet Dreams drops will assist with relaxing and switching off prior to bedtime. Can be used in the afternoon and again before bedtime and if any waking in the night occurs.
Lara says: Just about to reorder my little miracle in a bottle and thought I’d quickly say thank you (for creating them). My little guy has always had very restless sleep. His little mind seems to find it hard to just be still. Deep sleep had always been an issue for us. Since I started the Sweet Dream drops before bed he’s had beautiful, full nights sleep. Thank you very much from me and Mr M. These four flower essence blends are so popular and so often needed in families with kids that I popped them all in a pack so now you can get the Calm Kids Pack! (I really wanted to call it the Calm Kids and Calm Mum Pack but that felt a bit long! lol!) But don't forget, you can take these blends also, as no doubt your energy body needs calming too.
If you'd like to see if your household becomes a calmer one on the Calm Kids Pack, please click HERE to read more!
Yours in Health,
PS. If you are new to flower essences, welcome so glad you're here! These are some links you might find helpful my FAQ link, Introduction to Flower Essences and some more Testimonials, I look forward to hearing how you find the blends you choose to start with!