Written by Kelly @ Eyes On The Source, Contributing Writer
Oh, the beauty of a precious pregnant belly! It is such an exciting time, just imagining and wondering what this tiny little person will be like. The miracle of how two tiny pieces of two people can become another person, I shall never understand it. Simply amazing!
Growing in the cozy warmth of his (or her) mother’s womb, everything that baby needs is provided in that perfect environment.
But after that baby is born and as he grows, there is wealth of overwhelming stimulations daily in his face. Gone is that quiet cozy environment and it is replaced by what can be a very scary place!
My first child came into this world eager to explore and learn and loved every new thing. He was so flexible, listened well and we took him everywhere and traveled often. Parenting was a breeze! When I saw kids in a store or restaurant throwing a tantrum or whining or being disobedient, I (shame on me) thought something was wrong with the parents. I thought to myself all they have to do is….
I was apparently a very nieve parent…I thought I had all the answers. And so…then I had my SECOND child and my eyes were WIDE opened. Boy, did I have a lot to apologize for to those parents I had judged!
My second child is the sweetest, most loving and cuddly child…until something unexpected, confusing or difficult happens. He was throwing tantrums long before he could crawl. In anger he would scoot himself backwards across the floor on his head. Plus, he had a very faint birth mark in the middle of his forehead that would get bright red when he was upset. We called it his “warning light.”
Suddenly this “perfect parent” had no idea what she was doing! Funny how that happened, huh?
No two children are exactly this same. Some need more help to calm and express themselves. They need help to make sense of this world!
I have done a lot of research on sensory processing disorders and I am really starting to believe that my second son has a type of this disorder. We have not yet had him tested, but through my research, this is what we have found to help. There is certainly no one size fits all when it comes to our children, so these are just a few ideas of what has worked for us thus far.
How to Create a Calm Place for our Kids:
“Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.” When chaos abounds in our home, (as it often does with three boys) I find that a good dance party or a quiet restful moment with slow soothing music can restore the peace and joy.
2. Weighted blankets/vests
Night time is particularly difficult for my son to calm down. His little body just can’t stop moving. A weighted blanket can help the body to rest under a little weight. If you decide to try a weighted blanket, it should weigh 10% (or less) of the child’s body weight.
3. Sound machine
One day we pulled into the parking lot of a water play area. Hearing the sound of the rushing water, my son said, “Oh, Mommy! What a beautiful sound!” It took me by surprise! I hadn’t even thought about a sound machine for him until then. It gives him the sound he needs, but drowns out those he doesn’t. Just listen to your kids, quite often they will tell you just what they need.
4. Hand Fidgets
My son’s hands are always busy. He is either tapping, shaking, drumming or wiggling them. There are all sorts of small toys and hand fidgets available to keep hands busy and meet those sensory and tactile needs.
5. Avoid artificial colors and additives in foods
Almost any “food” that comes in a box or package these days comes with it’s share of artificial colors and additives. Most of these are unnecessary and are just there to make the food look more pleasing to the eye. However, these also cause numerous health issues including hyperactivity. Opting for whole, unpackaged foods makes an amazing difference.