Do you ever walk through a room and see something that makes you smile?
Maybe it is a photo or a card from a special person in your life. Do you know why companies use pictures to sell us stuff? Pictures are the easiest way to send us a message, to get us excited or make us sad. We attach feelings to “things” and pictures of “things” area direct pathway to our hearts.
Think about the photos of pumpkin latte’s floating around the internet right now. Just seeing the picture of the delightful drink makes you smile. Your first response is “I need one of those right now because it makes me feel good.”
Children have the same response. If a child sees a picture of a place they enjoy, they are able to retell events that happened at the place. For instance, if a child recently went to Disneyland and they see a picture of Mickey Mouse, they instantly remember their time meeting Mickey in person or seeing his face all over the place. If they had a great time at Disneyland, they will smile with delight. If they thought meeting Mickey was scary, they may start to cry.
All it takes is one photo to make us happy, sad, calm or maybe something else. As a parent, sometimes it is hard to calm our children down when they feel upset. Pictures may be the answer that you have been searching for.
Here are the top 3 ways that pictures help children calm down!
Pictures teach children new skills in a way they can understand.
Photos can be interpreted in many different ways. When children look through books,there are pictures on every page that tell a story. Even though young children are not yet able to read, they can “read” the pictures. Stories that teach skills, have a lesson or teach subjects tend to have simple photos on each page giving the story a clear beginning, middle and ending. Children are able to flip through these stories on their own and understand what they story is telling them.
Pictures children calm down when they are upset.
When children see photos of their family members or of a place that they love, they smile! While I was working as a preschool teacher, I asked every child bring in a picture of their family. We created a “family wall” that children could visit anytime. If a child was upset, they would choose to go find their picture of their mom or dad, using it to calm down.
Pictures children communicate.
Did you know there are over 90 different emotions that have been identified? As adults, we have a variety of ways to communicate these feelings to each other. Children are just learning these words and don’t always have the vocabulary to describe how they are feeling. Pictures can be a simple way for children to communicate how they are feeling or to communicate what they want.
There are two different components to expressive language:
- Verbal – using words to describe what we want.
- Gestures – using our body to communicate what we want.
Children can point to objects or photos of objects so adults and other children understand what they are trying to communicate. One way to integrate this into your family’s life is to place a basket filled with photos of common household items that your child uses to calm down. Examples include: a favourite teddy bear, a family photo, a special snack, etc.
If you are looking for a simple way to teach your child these calm down strategies using visuals, our Soothing Sammy Collection would be a great place to start. It’s a great program for all ages!
Soothing Sammy teaches children how to manage their emotions in a way they will understand, remember and implement. This 4-Piece Soothing Sammy Collection to teach children these strategies in the way they learn the best – with objects that are visually appealing and tangible (objects they can hold.)
The first part of the Soothing Sammy Kit is a children’s book.
In the story, children visit Sammy, the golden retriever, at his dog house. They feel upset and Sammy teaches them how to calm down using sensory tools, such as: smelling a pleasant scent (like lotion or a flower), crunching on a snack, jumping in a safe spot, humming a favourite song and more!
This cuddly, soft,plush golden retriever that brings the children’s book to life. Follow the instructions in the back for the Soothing Sammy Book to learn how to construct a “Sammy house” (using an empty box or container) for Sammy to live in. Place the suggested household items into Sammy’s House (which were talked about in the book. When your child becomes upset, redirect them to Sammy’s house where they will be able to use his items to calm down in a safe and effective way.
The third component is our “Emotions and Feelings” activities
These are activities that teach a variety of different emotions that children can feel. With over 90 different feelings/emotions, it is hard for children to put those feelings into words. These activities provide opportunities to learn this vocabulary and to identify some of these new feelings in themselves and others. Once your child is calm, ask them how they are feeling and why they are upset.
The fourth component of the Soothing Sammy kit comes with an 80 page parent guide
The 80 page parent guide is written by Jeana Kinne, MA, offering positive parenting solutions to a variety of common situations (such as eating out in restaurants, going on long car rides, going shopping, sharing with siblings, leaving the park, waiting in a long line, etc). It includes a reflection area in each category so you can make a plan that fits your family.
The children’s book, along with Sammy the plush dog and parent guide was created to support stress-free parenting. When parents have a plan, they are more confident, able to stay positive and learn how/why their little angels are acting the way they are.
About the Author
Jeana Kinne, MA is an Early Childhood Developmental Specialist. She has worked as a parent educator, Preschool Director and Early Intervention Specialist with children with special needs.She loves working with families, providing them with solutions to common parenting concerns, resulting in stress-free parenting! Follow her blog to learn more parenting tips and strategies that support parents navigating through some of the most difficult and puzzling aspects of parenting at www.jdeducational.com
To find out more about Soothing Sammy and JDEducational visit the website! Use the code SAVE10 at the checkout to get 10% off of your entire order!
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