Calm down we shriek at our kids in best banshee style.
Just calm down!!
But they can’t and we can’t because the whole family is wound up so tight with the endless hurry scurry stress of a world that demands we are busy all of the time.
So we end up pushing each other’s buttons as only family can, until we are all on the ceiling, screaming blue murder and blaming each other.
What on earth are we meant to do?
How can we unwind that tension which is stretching the whole family to breaking point?
Well, there are all sorts of parenting “experts” out there who have got all sorts of calm down techniques PLUS calm down bottles and boxes and corners and cards and more …
BUT they don’t work.
For most of us.
Because they become another excuse to over complicate things, so suddenly we need classes in kids calming yoga or to spend hours on calming crafts that send us spiralling to whole new levels of insanity!!
All these busy-busy ideas blind us to what our families truly need.
And that is : enough time every day to enjoy doing useful but strangely soothing stuff in our homes together as a family and to make our own family fun.
I know that sounds simplistic.
Namby-pamby nonsense even!!!
But in all the rushing around our technology has freed us up to do, we have lost something fundamental.
Those little moments when we come together daily to look after our homes and each other are the deep bedrock of family life. They calm our bodies and strengthen our bonds.
So we absolutely don’t need family yoga classes or crazily complicated crafts to help us calm down.
But we do need more time peeling potatoes and sweeping the path and washing the dishes or the car. Together. Every single day.
Making a conscious daily effort to spend just 30 minutes or so working together as a family for the family truly can be magical. I promise you.
So check out my list of curiously calming activities below and sprinkle a handful of their magic dust into every day …
Calm Down Activities
The secret soothing magic of all of these activities is their gentle sensory repetitiveness.
They are almost all easy enough for even the tiniest of toddlers to join in, doing their bit for their family …
- Clean windows
- Sweep up crumbs
- Stir pancakes
- Wash up
- Peel potatoes
- Rub pastry or crumble
- Mop kitchen floor
- Dust shelves
- Peel carrots or parsnips
- Wipe mirrors
- Wipe down kitchen cupboards
- Scrub bath
- Fold laundry
- Peel apples for apple crumble or pie
- Wipe base boards
- Mow lawn
- Polish door handles
- Wipe down walls
- Brush up leaves
- Knead bread or pizza dough
- Wash car
- Brush the dog
- Roll pastry or cookies
- Polish shoes (neutral polish is a godsend even with tweens!)
- Polish furniture
- Pod peas & broad beans
- Pull weeds
- Feed birds
- Sand some old furniture
- Water plants
- Top & tail green beans
- Dust cobwebby corners
- Clean porch
- Deadhead flowers
- Pick fruit
- Plant seeds
- Cut out cookies
(None of the cleaning activities need chemical cleaning products. A damp cloth – and a squirt of dish soap if you must – will do fine.)
When you’re done with these take 15 minutes more – at least – to make your own family fun together …
- Sing an epic song – one everyone knows that goes on and on 🙂
- Climb trees
- Play hide and seek
- Ride bikes
- Balance on walls & logs
- Play hopscotch
- Walk the block
- Play clapping games
- Or just play an old, well loved, battered board game you all know and love
And there you go.
No fancy exercises, family therapy or sparkly bottles.
Just more of the simple things that slow us down and bind us closer so we don’t spiral into screeching and screaming. Or at least not half so much. And when we do, we draw more easily on the grace we need to help each other down.
Give it a go. It doesn’t take much but it matters and it makes a difference …
I do hope these ideas help in some way. I would love to hear your thoughts.
If you’re looking for more simple ways to make family life much happier and less harrowing do have a read of these posts :
- Slower Happier Parenting
- Self Care For Stressed Mothers
- 101 Ideas For Outdoor Fun
- How To Build Kids Confidence
- Slow Living Tips
- Simple Frugal Life Skills
And if these tips struck a chord do sign up for my occasional newsletter. I won’t be bombarding you with stuff but just sharing the practical tips and thoughts that make my family life more fun …