Thursday, December 5, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
Mr. Kidlutions has just turned 50 and to celebrate, we’re offering two of our popular resources at 50% off. If you missed this special when they were offered at the low introductory rate, you won’t want to pass up this great deal!
GO HERE to learn all about it and join us in celebrating!
Ends 12/6/13 at 5pm EDT.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Helping Grieving Children
Helping grieving children is something I've been called to do far too often in my practice as a clinician. We want to believe that childhood is a time of carefree fun and that it somehow insulates one from dealing with the BIG stuff in life. This is not the way it works in reality, of course, and so parents, teachers, therapists and counselors are faced with helping children pick up the pieces after a terminal illness, tragic accident or sudden death claims the life of a child's loved one. This may be a grandparent, caregiver, teacher, playmate, classmate, parent or sibling.
It's Not Easy
It is not easy to bear witness to a child's grief, yet it is absolutely necessary in order to help her walk back through the pain so she may get to the other side. In facing the grief square on, in refusing to keep it hidden in a tidy little box in the corners of one's head is what can free a child up to keep on in her journey of life, in the absence of the loved one.
Grieving Children Have Unique Needs
There are lots of unique concerns and issues that accompany grieving children. Our infographic above gives some basic information to help grieving children. One of the very first resources we created at Kidlutions was "How Long Does the Sad Last: A Workbook for Grieving Children", in recognition of the specific needs of grieving children. It includes information that parents, educators and caregivers need to best assist children in dealing with grief, in addition to a workbook for kids, AND directions to create a Kidlutions Care Kit for grieving children.
Go HERE to read more about this resource.
Kidlutions has experience in helping kids deal with grief whether that grief resulted from a terminal illness, accident, suicide, or murder. Our resources have helped kids with all of it. None of it is fun to imagine, yet all of it is necessary to help kids. Our founder has worked one-on-one, in groups, and in family sessions to help with all of the above.
MORE Help for Grieving Children
Kids Get Angry.
It's a Fact of Life.
We Can Help Them.
That's a Fact, Too!
While this little gem has sat quietly on our sidebar for a while and has been shared with our newsletter subscribers, (join us, it's FREE!) we just realized that we did not give a proper introduction to our readers here on our blog. So, without further ado...I introduce you to:
Cool Down Strategies for Kids : Instant Download
This resource is being used worldwide...in the USA, Africa, Ireland, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Australia and MORE! It's used in homes, classrooms and therapy/counseling offices and more. It can help your child better deal with anger, too!
This resource provides cognitive, emotional and behavioral interventions, along with strategy cards, an action planner and ideas to adapt it to a preschool population!
What you get:
Printable Strategy Cards with "Thinking, Feeling and Doing" approaches
Instructions for five (5) unique ways to use the cards
An Action Planner to help kids prepare for angry times and have a
plan (expandable to as many pages as you need to help a child learn coping skills).
Adaptations for use with younger children (preschool age)
29 pages total
Keep it cool with Kidlutions!
See more and get your copy HERE!
Still available at the discounted price of $9.99. Therapeutic grade interventions for use anywhere! Portable and perfect for the traveling therapist, too!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
If travel is part of your holiday game plan and you have young children, you know the challenges that abound. Since we have always lived a significant distance from our family, long road trips have been part of the seasonal festivities for years for us. Our travel distances have ranged from 6 hours to 10 hours, with 3 kids under the age of 5 (once upon a time). Now, those under five's are all teens...two of whom can drive themselves!
Really Young Kids
If your kids are really young, entertain them with finger plays. Early childhood teachers know how to capture and keep kids' attention. Finger and Foot Plays are one easy way to do it on a long road trip, too! Kids love these, and will probably ask for more, more, more!
Finger and Foot Plays
There's nothing better than a lovely sing-a-long while on a long car ride. For inspiration, start here:
A long-time favorite of traveling children is bubbles! Big, glorious, popable bubbles! You blow them, and let your child pop away! If she is old enough, challenge her to pop them with her foot, her hand, her nose, etc. The bubbles featured below are no-spill, so a good bet for the car or family van.
These little guys are portable, take up little space and offer tons of options to entertain your little ones on long trips! You can play any number of games with kids as they grow with these, too. Choose five to show your child. Then remove one and have your child guess which one is missing. Add a completely different one from another set and have him guess which one was added. Mix them around on different fingers and see if he can guess which ones you switched. Play which one doesn't belong and add a person puppet to an animal set and vice versa. Have fun!
Find the whole set HERE! Very reasonably priced!
Make Plenty of Stops
Since it's not developmentally appropriate for kids to sit for hours on end (nor is it recommended for adults), be sure to make plenty of stops or break your trip into segments.
Keep some of these travel games on hand for long road trips with your young'uns. Heighten their appeal by keeping them for use solely on long road trips.
1. Travel Bingo
4. Surprize Ink
36 MORE (many for older kids)!
Don't miss this list of more than 36 printables and a collection of sites to visit for more travel ideas from TLC's Parentables. Many of these activities are suitable for older children, too!
Don't miss out on teaching your child some new social skills while on the road, too! It's an awesome opportunity to talk about your family's values and morals. How about helping them learn to TELL THE TRUTH, DEAL with SAD FEELINGS, DEAL with DISAPPOINTMENT, DEVELOP SELF-CONTROL or COOL DOWN their ANGER. (Hint: The best time to teach these strategies is when your child is calm and relaxed. They are more apt to process and remember it!)
Above all, safe travels! Getting there is half the fun!
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
For the past week, we've been hosting a Thanksgiving Sale for our newsletter subscribers. We're happy to open it up to the general public, the readers of our blog and our followers on social media until 8pm EDT on Thanksgiving Day (11/28/13). That's less than 23 hours to cash in on the savings.
Read all of the details about what specific products are on sale (there are many) and the DISCOUNT CODE to use at checkout! Find it all HERE!
We don't always open our sales up to the general public. In fact, this is one of the first times we have done so. If you'd like to subscribe to our FREE newsletter and get tips, ideas, printables and MORE sign up here. When you subscribe, you'll never miss out our rock-bottom prices and members-only sales. We heart our subscribers!
Plus, when you subscribe, you get more than a dozen free printables for social emotional development.
Wishing you the warmest Thanksgiving wishes. Here's to making memories with your family and friends.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Self-esteem. We all want our kids to have it. We hear tons about HOW to improve our child's self-esteem. What we sometimes don't know are the things that can actually HURT our child's burgeoning sense of self.
Recently, I was asked by the Mother Company (whom I adore), to whip up a list of about 10 things that can actually hurt a child's self-esteem. It took a little work for my brain to backwards engineer a list...cuz I'm usually such a "glass half-full", "what works", strength-based kind of gal. But in creating this list, I realized there really are so many things we could do, but don't...or aren't aware of, but should be, when it comes to helping kids build a great sense of self.
Here's an excerpt from my piece on The Mother Company's site:
The things we think may boost our child's self-assurance may actually backfire. There are a few steps you can take to avoid these pitfalls. I’ve outlined 10 things to avoid if you wish to boost your child’s belief in herself:
Don’t constantly praise your child.
Sounds peculiar, doesn’t it? Most of us have likely been raised to believe that praise helps build self-esteem. While it’s true that kids need positive feedback, a constant barrage of, “You’re so wonderful…you’re so smart…you’re the best soccer player,” does not help a child grow in confidence. Instead, work towards praising specific things your child has done, regardless of the outcome. Rather than saying, “Oh, you are the best artist. I love how beautifully you draw,” try, “Wow! This is so colorful! You took so much time and care in drawing it. Let’s find a place to hang it so we can look at it often!” Notice the subtle difference...READ MORE HERE (NOTE: This link is temporarily broken. The Mother Company is migrating their pages and this post has not yet transferred over. The Mother Company is working on this. Please bookmark this page to return to it in the near future to find the rest of this article. Sorry for the inconvenience!)
You Might Also Enjoy:
Helping kids deal with feelings is one component of self-esteem. You can find all of our resources to help kids deal with feelings HERE.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Of Therapists and Moms
As a therapist, I help kids deal with feelings day in and day out. As a mom, I've been called upon to do the same thing. It's just as important work for therapists as it is for parents. That's why our blog exists. We help parents AND therapist/counselors help kids. Kidlutions is a dream come true for me! I thought about Kidlutions for YEARS when my kids were younger and am so happy to see it all come to fruition! The kids have grown, and so has Kidlutions! (You can see all that we've been up to in the past 5 years here.)
Here, There and Everywhere
Through my many years as a therapist, acting in different capacities for different agencies, prior to opening my private practice, I often had to travel around to see clients. I've met with kids and families in homes, foster care placements, outside in the park, at schools (which is where I currently practice), in daycares and in church halls. Heck, I've even used a broom-closet as a makeshift office at one point in my career. The truth is, the surroundings don't matter as much as the people inhabiting it.
When you are a traveling therapist working with kids, a bit of equipment is a necessity to help them access their feelings and process them in session. There is no better way to do this than by using the "tools" of childhood. Toys, art supplies and such are in order. But how do you decide what to take? Especially if you are lugging your goods around to several different locations in one day.
Well, I have a solution that works for traveling therapists, school counselors and even for parents interested in helping their kids deal with feelings at home. (And what parent doesn't want that?)
Let's Talk About Feelings: Three Therapy Games
This mini-kit is the perfect solution for use at home, in the therapy session, for school counseling and more. This kit is an engaging tool for cognitive-behavioral therapy, helps develop emotional intelligence, includes a bonus item AND comes with a carrying case. The creators thought of everything. Just grab and go!
You can get this item here: Let's Talk About Feelings
Price: $39.00 (a total bargain, if you ask me)
Mixed Emotions Junior
For the "littles", I recommend Mixed Emotions Junior.
According to the creators, this set boasts the following:
- Help young children learn to recognize, differentiate and more accurately identify their emotions
- Children can move the "people pawns" to indicate the intensity of their emotions
- Helps young children to communicate their emotions to others in appropriate ways
- Black and white version of the chart can be copied and used for "home assignments"
- Helps to understand the emotions of others and to develop empathy for others
You can get this item here: Mixed Emotions Junior
Counselor's Tool Kit
Get the whole enchilada and have every tool at your disposal.
For under $100.00, you can get every tool needed for your traveling show! Something for all age groups! Can be used by parents and therapists alike!
You can get this item here: Counselor's Tool Kit
Draw It Out!
Don't forget your art materials. It really helps kids draw out feelings, pun intended! I LOVE this little kit that has materials and a handy easel built right in! I have found that no matter where I was (even in that broom closet of days gone by)...that I could find a water source for painting. I once even emptied out a playdoh container to use as a cup for water. Resourcefulness is always a bonus when you are on the run!
You can find it here: Crayola Ultimate Art Supplies
I believe the world would not be the same without playdoh. Nosiree! It just would not. I still adore the smell and am instantly transported back to days gone by when I smell it. My own limbic system at work!
Here's one option, but the sky is the limit when it comes to Playdoh. You don't even need any fancy tools. Just a few cans of the good stuff and some plastic silverware and a pen or pencil can help your young charges create, create, create!
Find this item here: Playdoh Fun Factory Deluxe Set
If you are really into Playdoh, I recommend this kit to go with it. Hint: I'd take this out of the carrying box and put it all in a zippered plastic bag. Condense and combine, whenever possible, I always say!
You can get this item here: Melissa and Doug, Shape, Model and Mold
How could we live without these? More about puppets in a future post. For now, let's just suffice to say, that they are indispensable therapy tools!
Find this item here: Folkmanis Baby Dragon Puppet
I'd recommend a small mix of puppets, from the powerful to the demure and meek, so kids can express a range of feelings, situations and experiences.
Find this item here: Folkmanis Kitty Puppet
Carry It All
While you can use a plastic grocery bag to carry all of your goods (and trust me, I have), why not treat yourself and snag a stylish, yet roomy and practical tote that can handle everything you need to take with you? I love this one! More on why below!
This cute little number not only looks good, it is coated for protection and durability! Important when you are carrying any number of artsy supplies! Its 14" x 18" x 7" dimensions mean you can stash lots of stuff and be at the ready for any kind of session you and your young charges can dream up.
You can find this item here: Mud Pie Black Ring Essential Tote
Printable Workbooks You Can Stash in Your Bag
Peruse our very own Kidlutions printable workbooks that you can easily stash in your bag! These resources are used worldwide and have been helping kids that I've worked with for close to 25 years and internationally (through the magic of the world wide web) for more than 5 years!
Regardless of how you practice as a traveling therapist, don't forget to have FUN!