Conscious Discipline is a research-based program that helps adults stay calm enough to see a misbehavior and upset as a signal to teach a child instead of punishing them. It provides effective strategies for teaching social-emotional and life skills to children. At Educational Playcare, we use Conscious Discipline in our classrooms every day, which helps the children learn social emotional skills and how to self-regulate. Our Cozy Corners in the classroom are one example of how we use Conscious Discipline in the classroom. Cozy Corners help the children have a safe space when they are dealing with big emotions.
With everything going on currently and so many changes happening in your child’s life, you may notice that your child is experiencing a lot more emotions at home. We suggest creating a cozy corner right at home. Start by asking your child where they would feel more comfortable. Add items to the cozy area to help the children deal with their big emotions and learn to self-regulate. Items include pillows and stuffed animals, books, yoga cards, family pictures, bubbles and pinwheels, and calming sensory bottles.
Another way families can practice Conscious Discipline at home are through “I Love You Rituals”. “I Love You Rituals” are enjoyable interaction and games that can be played with children and adults from infancy through age 8. This sends a message to the children of unconditional acceptance – they are safe, they are adored, and all is well. Children need both routines and rituals in their lives. Routines help the children learn to tell time and know what is happening next. Rituals are a sacred space selected for togetherness and unity.
Here are some “I Love You” rituals to try at home:
I Love You Rituals: Sit on the floor with your legs crossed or out in front of you. Have your child sit on your lap (back to you) and hug your child. Hold your child while singing the rhyme.
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star – for this ritual it is important to be at your child’s level
Twinkle, twinkle little star,
What a wonderful child you are!
With bright eyes and nice round cheeks,
Talented person from head to feet.
Twinkle, twinkle little star
What a wonderful child you are!
Bedtime Rituals: Hold your child’s hand, say the rhyme and touch the designated finger and make the sounds. At the last line, give your child a kiss and tuck them into bed. You can make up different verses to the song with your child. Add your child’s name instead of baby or make the song silly. You can also have your child find the rhyming words.
This little finger goes night-night
This little finger on the end goes cluck, cluck like a baby hen.
The next little finger on the hand goes (make a noise) like a big brass band.
This tall finger goes tick tock, just like Mommy’s alarm clock.
This little finger points to you and says, “I love you, yes I do.”
The last little thumb goes night-night.
And says, “Kiss me so I will sleep tight.”
Held in my Arms (to the tune of Rock-a-bye-baby)
Rock a bye baby
Held in my arms.
Having you near me, I see your charms.
When things seem scary, I’ll hold you tight,
And whisper, “I love you” all through the night
What are some of your family’s favorite rituals?