We did it. We survived first week of Kindergarten.
Sorry. I guess I should be saying, SHE survived it. Yes, with flying colors. No, not without a hitch (or eight).
We had a couple (dozen) random meltdowns, one-sided conversations (and yes, I’m talking about my side…), and an overall change of pace throughout this week. For the most part, however, Little Mama was generally very happy and looked forward to going to school every morning. She even had a bounce with every pint-sized step.
But at the end of the long school day, following our epic reunion hugs, a speedy review of the day, and a hesitant walk away from the school playground, my once bubbly school girl very quickly transforms into an incredibly… overwhelmed little monkey.
Here are 5 of my absolute fave coping tools for my sometimes overwhelmed Little Mama …
1:: COPING TOOLS FOR THE OVERWHELMED CHILD – Read A Book
One of Little Mama‘s most cherished moments of the day is the last 15 minutes before lights out at bedtime. That is when all the worries of the day are left behind us, as we cozy up to a mind-gripping, page-turning book. When she has one of her moments which usually happens between the witching hour of 5 – 6pm, my first weapon of choice is a good, ol’ fashioned, book. I find a nice story to take her away from her own mind that’s busily trying to figure out why she’s upset in the first place. It calms her like no other, and I am glad this world is filled with a boundless amount of book options. We will never run out of this quick and easy fix for an overtired story-hungry little girl.
2:: COPING TOOLS FOR THE OVERWHELMED CHILD – Doodle
As Big Daddy draws all day long, as his tiny mini-me refers to his dayjob as a Designer, it is no wonder that the two have really developed a love for drawing together. If they aren’t doodling on napkins at the restaurant as we wait for our order, they’re fingerpainting on recycled poster rolls taped to our kitchen table. My child has been raised with a crayon or a paintbrush in her hand from birth and hasn’t let go since. So it’s no surprise that placing that paintbrush back in her grasp gives her the comfort she needs when she’s not feeling her usual, comfortable self.
3:: COPING TOOLS FOR THE OVERWHELMED CHILD – Distraction Distraction Distraction
When I think about the moments in my life as an adult where I’m feeling the least myself, the very things that snap me out of my funk is always the same thing – distraction. Whether it’s simply changing the topic, giving her a glass of water and a snack (it works with her Daddy, why wouldn’t it work with his mini doppelganger ?), handing her a spatula and tell her to get to work mixing the flour, or just giving her a warm hug – diversion works.
4:: COPING TOOLS FOR THE OVERWHELMED CHILD – Turn up The Volume
Music is a huge part of our life. We start the morning with music. We end the day with music. And in between, we turn up the volume and dance to the music like no one and their dog are watching. Music has a way of turning frowns upside down in record time. When desperate, Mommy and Daddy kick it up a notch with our most ridiculous dance moves that even the grumpiest of grumps couldn’t help but break a smile (or at the very least, blush in embarrassment). Even better, a quick walk to the harbor for a good dose of live music at the bottom of the market steps, is really where the magic happens.
5:: COPING TOOLS FOR THE OVERWHELMED CHILD – Walk It Out and Talk It Out
This may be a shock to many, with Little Mama being MY child and all, but when she’s in the most questionable of moods, she pretty much shuts down: Lips pursed, eyes averted, and hands behind her back (or covering her ears, mouth, or eyes). If she’s not in the mood to talk, she is NOT in the mood to talk.
But she is certainly open to taking my hand and enjoying a stroll throughout the neighborhood. Even if she starts our walk silent, something in the constant movement of our swinging hands or the soles of our shoes hitting the chip trails to beat – something stirs in her that makes her want to blurt out a wonderful, random fact. The sound of her sweet little voice after an hour of heavy-laden silence, is like music to my ears (refer to fave number 4 – aka it’s a welcomed gift).
We’re still learning how to cope ourselves as parents of a full-time student. As much as it’s been a wonderful change for all of us as she enters this new phase in her life, there is still an adjustment period that inevitably warrants some time and patience. In the meantime, these tools have really helped pull us out of some sticky situations, and we’re happy that we have these not-so-creative moves in our back pocket, just to see our little girl shake some of those tired blues away.
And if all else fails… we give in and let the tired little monkey catch some zzzz’s…
Either that, or we get her a puppy.
(And no… that never happened. Nor will it ever – at least for now (I’m still working on Big Daddy…)
Whatever the case… this energetic, eager, little school girl‘s big toothy grin somehow finds its way back on to her sweet little face, and into my heart. As long as I see a glimpse of this as she makes her way home, I know we’re going to be just fine.
And speaking of home, don’t forget to visit our fabulous co-host of #5faves at The Koala Mom for her list of 5Faves ways to make a house a home! We would love to hear some of YOUR five favorite things too. Link up below!
Help them keep their cool, by giving them the right tool…