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What kids need to feel calm and regulated

I know this may be an unpopular opinion, but in order for kids to be calm and regulated they need to FEEL calm and regulated. This is incredibly difficult for them to do when they are rushing from one activity to another.

I understand motherhood and parenting can feel like a rat race much of the time. Especially if your child is struggling with regulation. Sometimes, we feel like “if I could just get all of the energy out, then they will settle down. However, sometimes when you are busy all of the time with the demands of school and multiple therapies, multiple activities, etc, if can get your brain and body overwhelmed. It can also lead to some children feeling comfortable constantly being in motion and under stress (whether good or bad).

If we want children to calm down and be able to regulate, they need the space to do that. Free play, rest, mindful activities, movement, and creative play are all so vital to supporting and developing regulation. Letting them feel their body be calm and relaxed can help them feel comfortable calming down. All of this can support focus, attention, behavior, sensory processing, emotion management, and more.

For a long time we blocked weekends off for family time. Our kids did play sports, but we chose leagues that were less stringent on practice times, days, and games. This allowed our boys to have time to rest and regulate. As they got older, we did change some of the schedules and they have activities that require more commitment.

The bottom line, is do what works for your kid and your family, but don’t feel pressured to fill up your schedule every day. Giving yourself and your kids time to rest is not being lazy, it is allowing them to regulate.

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