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    Expert Interview: How to support children's natural anxieties

    Expert Interview: How to support children's natural anxieties

    How do we support children from not feeling anxious with all the ongoing changes? I have turned to friend and marriage and family therapist, Stefanie Bond, for her advice and guidance on helping children stay calm during these ever-changing times.

    Snickerdoos: 1. How do we support children's natural anxiety with big shifts and changes?

    SB: Decrease your kid's anxiety by talking to them during these big times of change.

    It's natural for children to experience stress and anxiety from recent changes in the world and their daily lives. You can help your child cope with their reactions by getting curious and talking to them.

    You can help your child learn to settle their confused minds and overwhelmed bodies by providing room to express their feelings, space to ask questions, accurate age-appropriate information, and tools to help them decrease their anxieties.

    Common areas of confusion and concern for children: Why are parents on their laptops all day? Why are they're not going to school? Why are can't they see their friends or go to gymnastics? Why is everyone wearing masks? When is the virus going to be over? Tackle these big questions with conversations.

    Snickerdoos: What is the best thing WE can DO to help children?

    Simply, you stay calm, and they stay calm.

    Reducing a child’s stress & anxiety — ⏳3 MINUTE TIPS!

    Reducing a child’s stress & anxiety — ⏳3 MINUTE TIPS!

    Hi, Friends!

    It's Monday. How are YOU feeling? I know that I am feeling a lot these days. I am feeling big doses of gratitude for valuable time with my family, pleasure in the small things like walking my dogs, and a fair measure worry if I am making the best choices for my two young children. (How much iPad is too much iPad?) I have been wanting to be hyperaware and sensitive to how they are feeling. That is why I decided to turn to Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor, Paige Yang, for her advice and guidance on nurturing and supporting children, especially during COVID.

    Snickerdoos: It is clear that children suffer from anxiety and stress, just like adults--possibly more so because they are still learning how to deal with these emotions. Because we aren't able to see you and other acupuncture practitioners during this time of social distancing, can you share acupressure points we can hold to help calm and relax ourselves and our children? 


    PY:  Yes! There are a handful of points that I have been enjoying during quarantine. From the top down: Massaging "DU20" at the crown of your head helps to calm the spirit, while also improving energy. The "LI11" helps to boost your immune system and relieve muscular tension.  The "LI4" is a great point for stress, tension, pain in the body, and tightness in the face. It also helps harmonize your body's circulation of energy.  The "ST36"  is one of the best points to boost your immune system and regulate your digestion. Lastly, "LV3"  is wonderful for easing stress and calming energy.

    Snickerdoos: I am making more meals than ever before! Are there foods that can help us reduce anxiety and worry? 

    PY: Foods to help ground your energy will help to reduce your anxiety. Foods that are harvested from the ground, such as root vegetables and foods that are placed inside of the ground, such as seeds, are great for reducing anxiety. You can also look to "heavier" foods or foods that take longer to digest with the same idea as grounding you to reduce anxiety. These "heavier" foods include animal proteins, nuts, beans, and legumes.

    Snickerdoos: As a mom, what has been working for you to stay positive during COVID? 

    PY: I am lucky to be staying with my parents during COVID and sharing childcare responsibilities with my two parents and husband. We made a daily schedule of when we are each in charge of my son. No one person has him for more than 4 hours/day. As a result, we have committed to being present with him and this has made a huge difference for his overall well-being as well as our adult well-beings--forcing us to get off of our devices for the hours we have him each day. 

    I hope you enjoyed reading Paige Yang's suggestions and insight as much as I did! Want to learn more about her and her practice? 

    Visit her Instagram! 👈🏾 (Don't just take my word for it--her tutorials are aaamazing!)

    Warmly,

    Natalie 

     

     

    Tips & Resources for #StayHome 🏡

    Tips & Resources for #StayHome 🏡

    Hi Friends, 

    I hope you are doing well, and staying healthy during these most unusual and for many stressful times. While we #stayhome in support of our global health, I love seeing communities, parents, and care-takers supporting one another with ideas, inspiration, and a good dose of humor. I praise you, parents, taking on teaching, and nurturing the youngest generation. I wanted to share with you some of my favorite online resources for adults and children staying home. 

     

    FOR THE KIDS

    Scholastic Classroom has tailored enjoyable, interactive lessons for your preschooler. Each day is a new topic that begins with a video lesson, followed by a quiz and project! The topics range from stars and the moon to seasons and animals. 

    Busy Toddler is an incredible resource for families with young children. Teacher and mother, Susie Allison has a gift for creating fun learning activities from simple household items. No need to make a shopping list; you have everything you need at home for the fun and learning to begin.

    Cosmic Kids is a part of our daily routine. Stretch, learn, and grow through yoga. Posses and movements are stimulated through storytelling, which is the perfect way to capture a child's attention. 

    Mo Willems Draws everyone's favorite children's book author and animator; Mo invites YOU into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. Kids will draw, doodle, and explore new ways of writing. Who knew drawing could be so easy?!

    Vooks is a streaming library where children's books are read aloud. Turn screen time into reading time! 

     

    FOR THE GROWN-UPS

    Yoga & Meditation because we all know we need a little more zen in our life these days. Join Yogi Charu for daily yoga + meditation, 7 pm (Eastern). 

    Master Class has 80+ courses (20 lessons per course), all taught by the experts! Learn to cook from Gordan Ramsy, act from Natalie Portman, and boldly express yourself from RuPaul! We will emerge from quarantine with some new tricks up our sleeves. 

    Museums: Visit the world's most famous museums from the comfort of your sofa. Discover the ancient Rosetta Stone in London, tour the Guggenheim's famous spiral staircase, and peek at artworks from Monet, Cézanne, all in the same afternoon. 

    Welcome to Harvard! Many elite universities are now offering FREE online courses. From statistics to history, there is so much to learn and relearn. 

    And our favorite pretend play resource, Snickerdoos costumes. ;) We love encouraging fun imaginative play at home. And right now is the perfect time to visit our website! We are offering 25% off sitewide! Stay home and shop small! 

    Sending light and love from our home to yours! 

    Natalie 

    6 Awesome Mom Hacks!

    I love anything that makes my life a little easier and a big bonus if it can save me money! Let's admit, as parents, we are on task 24/7—this is not just a "full-time" job! So I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Mom Hacks (you will love these too, dad and grandma)!

    1. Monster Spray

    Is your child afraid of the dark or sleeping on his or her own? Let's do something about it and get them involved and empowered! Using any spare spray bottle (or visit the travel section of your drug store), fill the spray bottle with water--bonus if you add lavender scented oil. Call the bottle "Monster Spray" and let your little ones spray it around their room before bedtime. Smell you later, monsters!

    2. The Non-Emergency Emergency Kit

    Okay, you may not carry a big ole' diaper bag around anymore. Still, whether it is for a bandaid, chapstick, Kleenex, granola bar, rubber band, or hand-sanitizer, you want to have these items on hand at any given time. Use a small pouch-like a pencil case, or one of those free make-up bags with purchase we all have hanging around and fill it with all those small necessary items! No more digging around in your purse or feeling unprepared! You got it, Mom! 

    3. Cleaning Toys

    We hope that our preschools clean their toys often, but now how often do we really get to cleaning the toys in our own home!? I am afraid to answer this question! Between laundry, cooking dinner, and all the other tasks, cleaning toys gets overlooked in my house. Here's a super-easy way to get it done: take a mesh laundry/bra bag and place the toys inside. Pop that bag inside your washing machine and head out to run errands (this isn't a quiet load). Waaala, you have clean toys!

    4. Getting Children Excited About Chores

    My children LOVE a treasure hunt, and I have found it's the perfect tool to get them excited about doing chores! This is no regular treasure hunt--each clue will lead them to a new chore (think making the bed, organizing their shoes, really wherever you need help in your home)! Write down specific chores on post-its then place them throughout your home. Remember, you need to place the post-it on the location of the previous chore. The last post-it leads them to where they can find their prize (cookie, stickers, $1, etc.)!

    5. Frozen Rice (You read that correctly!)

    About once a week in my household, someone gets a boo-boo. I rush to the freezer, looking for something to cool their injury. The problem with ice packs is that they're too hard and cold...and a bag of ice leaks. So, what's a mom to do? Freeze a bag of rice! Place 2-3 cups of rice in a Ziploc bag and freeze. Next time your child hurts him or herself, grab the bag of frozen rice!

    6. Ultimate Snack Pack

    We all love variety, don't we? Especially when it comes to food! This fun snack hack makes eating fun and a perfect airplane or waiting room activity! Using a

    vitamin organizer or similar container, fill each compartment with a different snack. Your child will love discovering each new snack and will end this activity full! 

    I hope you enjoyed these Mom Hacks! Wishing you a peaceful, healthy, happy week! 

    Natalie 

    How do we teach kindness?

    How do we teach kindness?

    "The best way to teach kindness to children is by modeling and showing the joy of helping others."

    As I grow older, I can say that it is far better to give than to receive. I know this from the personal happiness I experience from doing for others, but it is also backed by science and the American Psychological Association. "Our findings suggest that the psychological reward experienced from helping others may be deeply ingrained in human nature, emerging in diverse cultural and economic contexts," said lead author Lara Aknin, of Simon Fraser University in Canada, in a news release.

    Kindness is love made visible, and the best way to teach kindness to little ones is by modeling and showing the joy of helping others. I love February's celebration and acknowledgment of love. This week is Random Acts of Kindness Week, and I wanted to share some doable, fun ideas to do with your children to show love and kindness to others.

    Showing kindness to others

    1. Send a postcard together

    2. Find a special way to thank your child's teacher

    3. Be inclusive—invite another parent/child for a playdate

    4. Complement someone

    5. Give a hug to a loved one

    6. Deliver flowers to someone special

    7. Bake cookies for a grandparent

    Teaching kindness to the earth

    1. Hang clothes to dry

    2. Use a reusable bag

    3. Pick up a piece of garbage on the street

    4. Use a travel mug or bottle

     

    Sometimes it takes courage to be kind and wear your heart on your sleeve, but there is no better time than February and this week!


    To celebrate February and Random Acts of Kindness week and show my appreciation to you, Snickerdoos is offering 20% off with the code: Kindness

    Enjoy, Natalie