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Stress-Proof Your Kids

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  1. Stress-Proof Your Kids Elizabeth Walther, LCSW

  2. Creating Body Intelligence Ask your child how they are feeling or what is going on inside If your child says that she is upset ask her where is the “upset” in her body Ask him to point to where it is in the body Ask if the “upset” has a shape or color or if it looks like anything Ask if there is any part of the body that feels better Have them describe what they notice about that part Observe the shifts in your child’s state Teaching kids the language of sensation Elizabeth Walther, LCSW

  3. Language of Sensation Adapted by Elaine Miller-Karas (TRM) from the original work by Pat Ogden Elizabeth Walther, LCSW

  4. How to prepare.. • Anticipatory guidance – talk through all the steps • Practice sensory language and games • Read books about Feelings and talk about the body sensations associated with those feelings • Begin to recognize your child’s body language and talk about it with your child • Help your child come up with resources – what would feel better right now Elizabeth Walther, LCSW

  5. How to Repair… Make sure you have calmed yourself before attending to your child – your stress will only add to your child’s stress. Have quiet time with your child, hold and/or rock your child, if appropriate. Talk to your child about the physical sensations they experienced during the stressful event Be supportive of your child’s experience of an event. Validate their physical and emotional response. Remind your child that the event is over and they are safe, comfortable, ok. Remind your child that they made it through the stressful experience and acknowledge this as an accomplishment. Acknowledging rather than fixing Elizabeth Walther, LCSW

  6. Body Mappingwhat you need: paper, markers Draw an outline of a body or draw an outline of your child on a large paper Have child identify 4 feelings Pick a color to represent each feeling Ask child to color where in their body they experience the feeling For older children, have them draw how they experience the feeling (zigzag, waves, dark lines, spirals…) Elizabeth Walther, LCSW

  7. Spider WebWhat you need: yarn, paper, pen, tape • Ask your child to list for you all the things that are causing stress • If your child is old enough have the child write down the stresses on a piece of paper. If your child is younger, then you can write them down • Cut the stresses into strips • Have your child pull out a length of yarn as big as the stress feels • Tape paper describing the stress to the yarn, then tape the yarn to the wall. Let your child choose the placement on the wall if possible • Have the lengths of yarn overlap each other to show the interconnectedness of our worries Elizabeth Walther, LCSW

  8. Reading List • Parenting from the Inside Out – Daniel Siegle • The Neurobiology of We – Daniel Siegle • Trauma through the Eyes of a Child – Peter Levine • Trauma and the Body – Pat Ogden & Kekuni Minton • Waking the Tiger – Peter Levine • The Way I Feel – Janan Cain Elizabeth Walther, LCSW