You know when you just can’t shake a feeling!  Not like a feeling of wrongness but a feeling like; guilt, sadness or annoyance.  Well, I suppose children feel like this too but they don’t know what is happening to them.  I created this visual to help us teach the idea of being stuck on a yak feeling and how once can trick their brain to move on.

So, besides empathising with our children about how it feels to get stuck on a feeling and how it’s OK to feel like this, we can offer to problem solve with them.  If the choice has been made to problem solve but you are still midst tears and rage, it can be hard to come with solutions.  So… I’ve listed a few here for you.

“You can stay mad if that is what you like or we can be problem solvers.”

“I want to be a problem solver.”

“Ok… so, you want to stay at the beach because the beach is fun.  You get to ride your board and play in the sand.  Is that right?”

“Because you feel like fun we could:”

“a. Put some music on really loud in the car and dance as we drive.”

“b. Play a game in the car while we are driving like opposites or eye spy or”

“c. We could make a time to come back to the beach and set some water and sand up at home.”

Some other ideas are here but might be dependent on your mood and level of tolerance:

  • running around playing tip to the car to get rid of the yak feeling
  • throwing some stones really hard on the ground as we walk to the car.
  • crunching some ice when we get home
  • making another plan for some fun while we skip to the car.

Sometimes my children are not happy with any idea so instead of being an ideas machine I recommend they think about whether they’d like to be the problem solver or stay sad, mad or annoyed, etc.  “I’m here if you need me but it’s entirely your choice.”

A few minutes spent empathising and offering to help problem gets me to where I want to be quicker every time.  Of course you may not always be in the mood for empathising and tolerating cranky moods so choose when you are up for it but no that sometimes we just need to feel calm before we can move on.

~ SM