CHAOS PRACTICE WITH CALM CENTERING
Janai 'Grandma Boom' Mestrovich, M.S.
Could you keep your calm if this chaos was happening around you? The calm center fairy knows that children need to have the experience of chaos and stress all around them while they focus on their calm center inside doing deep belly button breathing to practice self regulation.
Their experience of BEING in the midst of noise and chaos is a living symbol AND practice of what happens in their lives with stress. Experience teaches more than memorizing any rule ever did! When children know for themselves, they build confidence with their own internal resources of mind/body/emotions and the power of deep belly button breathing.
“According to a growing body of research, movement increases blood and oxygen flow, which positively affects cognitive development, physical health, and mental well-being.”
We began the lesson by feeling the difference of a tense knot in one hand and a calm soft sock in the other hand. I directed the children to close their eyes as we practiced progressive relaxation with deep breathing. Every muscle group in the body was tensed, held, then tension released to feel calm. Having the knot and sock externally in their hands, they could relate to the difference between tension and relaxation inside their bodies. Self calming was practiced in an imagery of stress being like a stress storm all around them while they kept calm in their minds and bodies.
The next step was to actually create the chaos of the stress storm with each child having the opportunity to use the breathing sphere and do deep belly button breathing while all the other children punched balloons and made loud sounds trying to control the person in the middle.
The point was to remain calm even though circumstances in the external environment were stormy and disruptive. Not only was this great fun for the group, but each child was empowered as a SUPERKID by maintaining self control and self calming in the experiment.
Every child loved this experience! The faces on the children indicated they felt really good about themselves as well as really grasping the empowerment of the lesson.
“The importance of the body is indisputable; the body moves, acts, rememorizes...and remakes the world. It’s absurd to separate the rigorous acts of knowing the world from the body.” - Paulo Freire
Artwork helped the children to further reinforce the lesson by creating what
a calm center looks like inside their bodies. I gave a sticker button for them to wear on their bodies in the location of the calm center and we practiced touching it like a light switch. We imagined stressful situations and touched our calm center control buttons to remain calm and breathe deeply.
Picturing the calm center each child drew and colored helped them to grasp an image in the middle of the chaos to focus on internally. The same type sticker was used to put on the artwork calm center for further reinforcement.
In my SUPERKID POWER GUIDEBOOK there are 52 concepts with techniques and activities to help children use their minds, bodies, emotions in learning the subject matter.
Located at my website www.superkidpower.org. You can watch a free video with downloads for reinforcement tips. Children can view the video, too.
In addition, there are audios to download with relaxation exercises for children to learn valuable skills for self calming. Great to use at nap-time and bedtime, circle time and settling a class down for calm self control.
In education it is advantageous to keep in mind that physical activity improves academic performance?
“The part of the brain that processes movement is the same part of the brain that processes learning. The cerebellum is the area of the brain most associated with motor control as well as memory, attention, and spatial perception.” (Jensen, 2005)
Fun, interactive SUPERKID POWER skills for self regulation and self worth help children to feel worthy, to feel confident, to feel empowered in their lives regardless of what is going on in the world around them with difficult circumstances.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou
SUPERKID POWER GUIDEBOOK by Janai Mestrovich aka Grandma Boom at www.grandmaboom.com
Videos and Audios on self calming and Superkid Power skills at www.superkidpower.org