What’s in the Studio? January 2019

Large motor development is important for children of all ages. In Montessori environments, large or gross motor development is provided for by creating activities that inspire the child to use his whole body.

In our Infant Studio in addition to providing large open spaces for free movement, we have the grasping ball hanging. Babies love this ball. It is soft, easy to bat and grab, and many come with a little bell that encourages the child to repeat her movements in order to keep recreating the experience.

In our Movement Studio, it is difficult to choose just one to gross motor activity to feature. However, one activity that is a favorite for crawlers as well as walkers is the walker wagon. For the newly standing child who may be crawling and pulling up but not yet walking, load your walker wagon with a heavy bag of flour or rice and he will be cruising around your house in no time.

In the Young Child’s Studio we have added large blocks for constructive, creative play. This open-ended activity allows for creative play and a child’s exertion of maximum effort. Engaging his whole body as well as his mind in the activity allows for an optimal learning experience and for his mind and body to work together.

In the Primary Studio children are asked to gather materials for their activities moving back and forth to the shelf multiple times. While they do this, they holding a list of materials needed in their mind. This not only engages the body in activity, but it also challenges and strengthens the memory.

At Studio June we provide you and your child with optimal learning experiences. Keep an eye open for new experiences coming your way such as:
Sensorial Exploration Studio

Summer Camps

Spring Session

Raising Joyful Children

“Joy, feeling one’s own value, being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production are all factors of enormous value for the human soul.”   (Dr. Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence p.87)

This definition of joy offered to us by Dr. Montessori describes three components necessary for joy.

  • the feeling of being valued
  • the feeling of being appreciated and being loved
  • the feeling of being useful and capable

A Montessori environment, by nature, is a joyful one. Whether we are describing a school or a home, providing opportunities to be joyful supports the growth of each child and the cohesiveness of the community.

The Feeling of Being Valued

The feeling of being valued starts with feeling our presence within a community. Children must first understand they they are individuals and they have an impact on the world. What we do affects those around us. This feeling can be fostered from birth.

An infant needs to be held and feel the embrace, heartbeat, and warm skin of his parents. He also needs to stretch and feel his body move in space. This freedom of movement allows him to feel how his body moves without the restrictions of being held, swaddled, or bundled in a car seat.

When children feel their body move, this supports their growing independence.  He builds strength and coordination through practice. Watching how his hands move he notices the small rattles near him and a mobile above him. He starts to purposefully reach toward these objects, with intent to touch them. He creates the sound of a chime in a rattle or a flicker of movement in the mobile as he moves his hands. He changes his environment. His movements have impact on his surroundings. Experiencing this input, he is motivated to repeat his movements, continuing to reach out toward the world.

His internal drive to learn about his world can be fed by real feedback, real experience, and sincere encouragement. He has the ability to change his environment. He has the ability to move things. He has the words to communicate and share ideas. He has the idea to create sound and others around him react. Through his efforts to be physically independent, he gains the knowledge that he can have thoughts, his own ideas, and can act on them. A young child may have the idea to build a tower of blocks or the idea to empty a drawer. He may even have the idea to draw on the mirror with lipstick.

“Being active with one’s own hands, having a determined practical aim to reach, is what really gives inner discipline. When the hand perfects itself in a work chosen spontaneously and the will to succeed is born together with the will to overcome difficulties or obstacles; it is then that something which differs from intellectual learning arises. The realization of one’s own value is born in the consciousness.” (Dr. Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence p.87)

This is intellectual independence. He can make a choice, and act on that choice. He is his own person and he can make a difference. What he also learns during this time is that there are good ideas and bad ideas, some that we should act on, and others that fall outside of what is acceptable.

The Feeling of Being Appreciated and Being Loved

A child feels appreciated and loved when he feels cared for and safe. This sense of security comes from the adults around him. Adults set rules and follow through; our words and actions working together, to create an environment of safety. Setting limits helps a young child understand the limitations of the environment.

“Young people must have enough freedom to allow them to act on individual initiative. But in order that individual action should be free and useful at the same time it must be restricted with certain limits and rules that give the necessary guidance. “ (Dr. Montessori From Childhood to Adolescence, Clio p. 73)

In order for a young child to experience freedom within limits, he must first have choice. Choices that are meaningful to a young child include what to wear, which park to visit, deciding broccoli or cauliflower for dinner. These choices empower him to feel his independence in a positive way. It allows you to say yes! And it allows him to feel empowered.

Making choices and experiencing the natural consequences helps provide a child with an awareness of the world and his affect on it. When he chooses to walk near you at the market he experiences the freedom to help chose the produce. When he runs away from you in the market, he experiences the limitation of sitting in the buggy while you shop.

There are some moments when he should not have choice. You will decide for him. However, children who have opportunities throughout the day to make choices are often more ready to respond when a parent makes a choice. The parent is met with less resistance. He builds an internal sense that cohesion within the family creates a feeling of security. You are all taking care of each other. He has confidence that his voice will be heard.

A child needs to move and explore, but must also understand his own limits as well as the limits of the environment. Learning to master his own skills is what allows him the freedom to make choice and then act on those choices.

With the development of  intellectual independence he pushes back on the rules. This is his way of “checking” to make sure he can trust the rules. We convey stability and love through our consistency. Always offering a calm and measured response to the “push-back” allows him to know he is safe.

The Feeling of Being Useful and Capable

The feelings of usefulness and being capable come directly from the ability to do things. Children learn to do things by practicing. They explore, repeat, make mistakes, self correct, and then learn to master their movements. The only way to do this is through experience.

In a Montessori prepared home an infant sleeps in a low bed. This bed is free from physical restriction and allows for freedom of movement while sleeping. He learns to move his body; scooting and then crawling.  He now experiences choice to move in and out of bed. This space brings comfort in its consistency and familiarity.

The safety he feels in his low bed helps him develop a trust in his environment, himself, and trust in other people; those who care for him. Comfort in his environment allows him to master his movements in this space and feel free to explore. The confidence to explore builds his understanding of his own capabilities. He repeats his movements and concentrates mastering his own body.

A child that is given the opportunity to understand the feeling of hunger and fullness can choose when to eat and how much. Imagine you serve a sixteen-month-old a full plate of food and then you ask him to finish all the food on his plate before leaving the table. This is suggesting to him that you have a better understanding of his hunger than he does. In order for him to understand his need for food and when to stop eating, he needs practice.

Show him to serve himself small quantities from a serving dish. He can then eat what he has served himself. Then offer for him to take another serving. Always offer healthy food choices and he will learn to take the nourishment his body needs. With practice and time he gains the dexterity to serve with utensils, the confidence to repeat, and the independence to determine his own hunger. When he fills his own plate, he can then be asked to finish the food before leaving the table. We cannot ask a child to finish what we have chosen for him without suppressing his own internal feeling.

Mastery of one’s own body is the first seed of self-reliance, planted in his developing intellect; he experiences that his efforts result in change. He now has the knowledge that he is capable; capable of movement, capable of understanding, capable of connecting with others. As his neurons are firing and his nervous system matures, he experiences life with the feeling, “I am making a difference and my presence is felt”.

Dr. Montessori acknowledged that it is not enough to be independent. Independence must lead to a meaningful connection to community. “Two things are necessary: the development of individuality and the participation of the individual in a truly social life.” (Dr. Montessori, Education and Peace p. 56)

This need to connect to others and create shared experiences starts early. Young children learn best in community and seek eachother out to learn from one another. If this connection to community and desire to master one’s own physical ability is fostered, children grow to build community, to lead community, and make changes in the world.

As parents, we want joyful children. However, we cannot create joy for them. They must do that for themselves. We create homes and schools in which joy is attainable. We build spaces where joy is a possibility. We provide authentic and responsive communities where they will grow; where they will feel their own value, be appreciated and loved by others, and feel useful and capable.

The First Step

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Walt Disney

The first step. It’s often the hardest. Or so we are told.

For a young child, the first step is not a conscious one, it is one that is urged by an internal life-force. Dr. Montessori called this the horme. It is this life-force that drives young children’s needs to learn and explore. A child crawls toward what interests him, he pulls his body up to standing and starts to feel his weight on his feet. He cruises around your furniture, and then in an interest to discover other areas of the room, he lets go and starts to step. As he realizes his accomplishment he smiles and often drops to sitting. He feels more comfortable closer to the ground. He is now aware that he can move toward you on his feet. He has been watching you all these months and now he, too, can walk.

The time from birth until walking is about a year. Unbelievable! In just a year he has come into the world, shown us his personality, and gone form a helpless newborn to a communicating toddler. Since becoming a parent, each year of my life has offered so much change, both in my children and in me. My children have taught me to live in the moment and to not wish the time away. I used to spend so much time imagining what was coming next. Over the years, I have done better to enjoy the now. The older my children get, the is easier it is to do;, the time seems to move faster.

I’m thinking about the next year and what first steps we will see at the Studio. Yes, we will see children begin to walk, we will see children water their first plant, roll over for the first time, bake their first pie, and speak their first word. What a gift to be surrounded by so many first steps!

We will also see many first steps by parents. We will see first moments of waiting as a child over fills his glass, pausing before catching a child’s stumble, and moments of silence as not to interrupt a child’s concentration. These moments of waiting are also precious to witness. These moments are the reason I started Studio June. We are here to support you on your parenting journey and look forward to another year of first steps.

Thank you, Studio June families, for sharing these moments with us. Thank you for letting us be a space where you return to find community, to find support, and to find peace in your parenting. I look forward to the next year with you and with the new families who will join the Studio. Thank you for continuing to sign your children up for classes, for attending our parenting classes, for reading our blog and the parenting tips in class, and for sharing with new families what Studio June has to offer and encouraging them to join our community.

Thank you and Happy New Year!

Sarah


Choosing Montessori Toys

As the the gifts are piling up, you may be thinking, “which of these toys should we play with now, which should we tuck away for later, and what will my child learn when she plays with these?” This time of year can be overwhelming and we’d like to help you sort these questions out. Your child will be gifted wonderful, skill-building toys this season. Here are some things to keep in mind while considering which toys to rotate in your play space and when.

Natural materials – when possible, offer activities made of natural materials. This gives your child the opportunity to experience texture and weight of different materials. Plastic has a constant weight and texture and therefore does not offer the same sensorial variety. Your child learns through his senses and diverse and varied experience allows him to categorize and understand more about his world. Natural materials are easy to clean and maintain and last longer for multiple children and even generations. When choosing the combination of toys available at any given time, consider a toy of each different material. 

Toys made of natural materials:

Simple and Beautiful – Dr. Montessori wrote that we should “offer the best to the littlest.” She recognized that beauty and simplicity call to the child. When a young child sees an activity that has a clear, single purpose and it is beautifully displayed on a low shelf, she has an internal drive to investigate. She wants to know, “What is it? How does it work? What can I do with it?”

Simplicity should be in the styling, so the purpose of the activity is clear. Each activity offered should focus on one skill. It is best to avoid toys that are marketed to have multiple “levels” and “grows with your child.” This usually means that it tries to cover too many skills and doesn’t do any of them justice. A single focus toy allows your child to develop the skills needed to be successful in her investigation of the toy, practice, and then master her skills. Building a sense of self-satisfaction and confidence. 

Toys that are beautiful and simple:

Cycle of activity – every activity we offer the child should have a beginning, middle, and an end. This cycle of activity helps guide the child in his independent play to know where he is in his play. Choosing an activity from the shelf is always a beginning, working until satisfied is the middle, and returning it to the shelf is the end. The number of times he repeats and the length of concentration in the middle will very with practice, time, and interest. 

Toys that encourage a cycle of activity:

Complete and in good repair – always keep your child’s activities complete and in good repair. If it is missing a piece, remove it until the piece can be found or replaced. An incomplete activity can be very frustrating and it is difficult for a young child to feel satisfaction from “almost” completing an activity when he has chosen to focus. For wood toys that are looking warn or faded, use beeswax to polish your natural, unpainted, wooden toys.

Encourages repetition – A Montessori activity encourages a child to repeat it. The repetition leads to concentration and mastery of a skill. Two very important parts of Montessori education. When activities encourage repetition, a child naturally wants to do it again. He then finds himself in a cycle, learning more about his own skills and the properties of the toy through the process. A self-learned understanding of the world inspires confidence and supports the natural desire to learn about the world, trusting that there is always something to learn if you are willing to invest time and practice. Display toys on a shelf with all the pieces in one basket or tray. This will help your child see what parts go together and know where to find the items he needs.

Toys that encourage repetition:

The gift of time

I love this time of year.  I always have. I love that it gets dark earlier and cools down at night.  I feel comforted by a warm beverage and wearing a scarf (and a good pair of boots ;).  Daily I warm the mulling spices on the stove which brings back a flood of thoughts about being young and surrounded by family. 

This season is often filled with so many sensorial encounters.  For a young child these experiences are multi-dimensional. First, like a snapshot, he has the potential to take in each moment in its entirety; a complete capture of the exact scene.  Any given moment is subject to the cataloging of taste, scent, sound, touch, and sight. These images are then stored and become part of his understanding of the world.

Additionally, he is often only able to respond to one stimulus at a time.  So if he smells the pine trees, hears the music, and tastes the sugar cookies, simultaneously, he can become over stimulated.   It is important to acknowledge this. It may mean not rushing away from the carolers in order to see the next or stepping back and letting him stare at the lights without trying to explain.  Young children can be mesmerized by the many experiences this time of year. It can be a beautiful time in our country with all the decorations, peaceful music and well wishes.

If you think back to your own experiences as a young child you may recall certain sounds or scents that remind you of the winter holidays. Often you cannot consciously recall these memories, but it is a part of who you are.  The experiences you have as a young child become a part of your personality. Who you are today was somehow influenced by the experiences you had as a toddler. Before you had opinions about what was right or wrong, you experienced just what was.  It is difficult as an adult to imagine having an experience that we don’t put through our many filters; the filter of family culture, the filter of occupational culture, the filter of city culture…it goes on and on.

This brings me back to the young child;  who has only been in the world for a year or two.  Which means he doesn’t have filters yet. He experiences just what is.  There it is before him, around him, involving him, in all its glory, a moment of pure excitement, pure terror, or even pure happiness.  I can see the excitement in my son’s eyes as he looks at a palm tree lit from the base to the tips of the leaves and feel the worry as my daughter squeezes my hand as a person in a gingerbread man costume approaches.

This influences who they are, who they are becoming.  It starts to build a filter. How will they see the world when they are conscious?  What filters will they create? As a parent, these are exciting and scary moments. How do I help my child create healthy filters, inclusive filters, non-judgmental filters?


I can allow time for life to make sense.

I can give the gift of time together, collaboratively working on something, or side-by-side having parallel experience.  I can give the time to show my child I value who he is as an individual and that he is good company. We can read books next to each other or bake cookies together.  We can clean the fridge together, or rake side-by-side. Our contributions to family life together help us both feel an inner sense of accomplishment. He is proud to be contributing to the family and I love to see my child wanting to contribute.

I can give the gift of time alone.  

I can respect the moments he needs to concentrate and not be interrupted by my words of encouragement.  Although it may seem that he wants me to say “good job” he really just wants to focus and challenge himself.  Allowing for this time shows my respect for his deep concentration and my understanding that his work is more important than my words.  I let him discover his world at his own pace; each child has his own. I can honor that pace, allow the world to unfold before him. His own discoveries will teach him the most.  He will learn about himself, he will learn trust in himself, in others, and in the world. He will have an innate trust in the world. (I love this idea) By allowing my child to have time and discover himself, he will trust in himself and in the greater community.

I can give the gift of time with his siblings.  

They do not need me to moderate their connections.  They need me to support them equally and respect the work they do to develop a strong bond.  When they are together, they learn so much from each other and about each other. Each has a unique personality and role to play within their relationships.  This emerges as they are free to explore without my interruption.

I can give the gift of the present moment.  

I can be here, with him, not on my email, or Facebook, or enjoying a text from a friend.  I can put down my phone and be here. I am constantly reminded by his behavior that the gift of time matters more than anything else.  When I am present, he is present, when I show empathy and engagement he does too.

As we get into this Holiday Season and there are so many gifts to give and receive, I ask that you consider giving the gift of time.  Your child is building himself. The smell of warm cider as you share a cup, the sound of an airplane flying overhead as you make plans to travel, and the taste of peppermint in the cookies you make together can all become part of his understanding of the world.  As a parent, it is such a gift to be a witness to the making of the next generation and their potential. Every moment could possibly become part of his personality, and these are the moments you can influence. I wish you all fond memories and special times for the Holiday Season and the New Year.

 

What is in the Studio?

This week we are sharing with you some of our favorite containers for holding and organizing toys and tools in our Studios.

INFANT STUDIO: We love the handmade mini Bolga baskets from Ghana. Bright colors, great textures, and fair trade!

MOVEMENT STUDIO: This two part basket is great for ring stackers, box with chips, or shape sorters. Place the box or peg on one side and the pieces on the other. Keeps your shelves tidy and beautiful. Use promo code FRIENDS at West Elm this week for 20% off.

YOUNG CHILDREN’S STUDIO: We use this tote for window washing, but it could be used for so many things! Perfect in size and weight! Use promo code FRIENDS at West Elm this week for 20% off.

BAKING STUDIO: An inviting baking activity can be prepared and organized on this beautiful tray. Sturdy handles help us move it from counter to table without worry. The clear tall sides allow the children to see all the ingredients, and our instructor know that any spills will stay contained.

 

Building Community through Independent Thought

“Joy, feeling one’s own value, being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production are all factors of enormous value for the human soul.”             –Dr. Maria Montessori

Independence starts with being comfortable in your own skin. Although an infant needs to be held and feel the embrace, heartbeat, and warm skin of his parents, he also needs to stretch and feel his body move in space. When we allow an infant freedom of movement he can feel how his body moves without the restrictions of being held, swaddled, or bundled in a car seat. Feeling his body move supports his growing independence as he can build strength and coordination through practice. His initial movements are reflexive and as he notices the small rattles near him and a mobile above him. He starts to purposefully reach toward these objects, with intent to touch them. As he reaches out and he is able to create a chime in a rattle, or a flicker of movement in the mobile, he senses that he can change his environment. His movements have impact on his surroundings. He is motivated to repeat his movements, continuing to reach out toward the world.

This is just the start of independence, and it is the first seed of self-confidence planted in his developing intellect. He experiences that his effort results in change and that he is capable. As his neurons are firing and his nervous system matures, he starts his life with the feeling, “I am making a difference, my presences is felt”.

As he grows into toddlerhood, his internal drive to learn about his world can be fed by real feedback, real experience, and sincere encouragement. He learns that he has the ability to change his environment. He has the ability to move things. He has the ability to communicate and share ideas. He has the ability to create sound and others around him react. Through his efforts to be physically independent, he gains the knowledge that he can have ideas; his own ideas, and he can act on them. A young child may have the idea to build a tower of blocks, or the idea to empty a drawer. He may even have the idea to draw on the mirror with lipstick.

This is intellectual independence. He can make a choice, and act on that choice. He is his own person and he can make a difference. What he also learns during this time is that there are good ideas, and bad ideas; some that we should act on and others that fall outside of what is acceptable.

This feeling can be set very early in life. Allowing young children to make choices such as what to wear, or which park to visit, empowers them to feel their independence in a positive way. It allows you to say yes! And it allows him to feel empowered. When he makes choices like this throughout his day, he is then more open to hearing when you need to set a rule and make the choice. He builds an internal sense that cohesion within the family is gained by each person taking part. The experience of having choice at sometimes and not at others, creates a feeling of security that you are all taking care of each other, and confidence that his voice will be heard.

This need to connect to others and create shared experiences starts early. Young children learn best in community and seek each other out to learn from one another and have shared experience. If this connection to community and desire to master one’s own physical ability is fostered, children grow to build community, to lead community, and make changes in the world.

Independence is important because seeing ourselves as individuals with the ability to make choices within a community that supports us is what allows us to appreciate each other’s differences and feel connected through our individuality. It is independence of thought, strength of character, and self-confidence in one’s abilities that is the foundation of each child’s personality, and each child makes up a vital part of our community.

Communicating with Your Young Child

A young child’s receptive language develops sooner than their expressive language. This means they are capable of understanding much more than they can express. Honoring this intellectual development can be difficult when you feel you are constantly met with the one-word answer “no!” or a temper tantrum. You feel like you just asked a simple question or you just suggested a meal of his favorite food and you look down to find your child flailing on the floor. How did this happen?

Communicating with your young child with respect is what lays the foundation for how he will relate and communicate with others as he gets older. Using a calm and clear voice helps him feel your sincerity and honest nature. He looks to you for guidance as he builds his personality from the people and experiences around him.

Staying calm and clear can be difficult to remember when your toddler has dropped to the floor and is crying “no” and neither of you know why.  Although this situation may not always be avoidable, often it is. You can prepare for this moment my using clear, honest, and positive communication from the start.  That’s right, from the moment he is born you can start communicating your trust in his development. And it is never too late to start! Children of all ages respond well to positive and honest communication.

Using consistent positive phrasing as your communication style helps your child understand when he has the opportunity for choice and input. Toddlers often feel everything is decided for them and out of their control. They are newly aware that they have choice, can contribute to family life, and they are seeking autonomy. They express it by saying, “no!” even when they may really want to say yes.  We can support them as they learn that their contribution matters and that they truly have an important voice by not putting them in a situation where they can say no. We can Invite them to participate in community life whenever possible and set them up for seeing their role as a contributor not a bystander.

Whenever possible, give your child a choice of two options: “Would you like to walk around the block or play in the backyard?” “Would you like to wear brown pants or blue pants?” These are moments where he feels a sense of control and that build his trust in your relationship. This foundation of trust allows you to make the bigger decisions with his cooperation (and without tantrums). “I will give you one more push on the swing and then we are leaving the park.” rather than, “are you ready to leave?”

Attached is a chart of six common situations with young children. By changing just a few words you may find that your young child is much more cooperative and engaged in family life. And you may even see fewer tantrums!

Books for the Holidays

 .      .        

Books and Children!  What a great combination!  Books offer so many opportunities for conversation, connection, and creative thoughts.  Reading with your child helps him hear and experience formal and rhythmic language.  He also explores the creative illustrations and photos, helping him connect ideas and experiences.  Choosing books based on realistic ideas helps him identify with the subject matter and connect his own experiences with what is happening in the story.  

This can be a difficult idea for parents looking to raise creative and independent thinking children.  Our culture often tells us that our children need to hear and experience fairy tales in order to be creative thinkers.  This is actually contrary to how their creative minds develop.  In the first six years, children need to hear stories and ideas base on the real world.  It is this foundation of understanding reality that lets their imaginations explode into unique, independent, and creative thoughts later (after age six).

 

This waterfall of creative thought comes pouring from them.  Through their love of words and stories, they start to imagine what could be.  Not because they read it in a book or saw it in a movie, but because they understand reality and they can now think abstractly and imagine the possibilities.

As the season of many fantastical stories is upon us I would like to offer a few books that might help your young children connect and make sense of their world.

Dream Snow by Eric Carle

  A story of a farmer who dreams of snow and then wakes up to find snow fell while he was asleep.  He then rushes out and decorates his tree and says Merry Christmas.  This is a simple story based in reality, has animals, and beautiful illustrations.

Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht

 I love this story about picking a pine tree from a tree farm, bringing it home and decorating it. Each page has a rhyme, and the pages flow with a great rhythm. The illustration has a beautiful vintage washed look and are very relatable.

The Little Reindeer by Nicola Killen

 A little child by the name of Ollie, wears her reindeer pajamas and has a night adventure flying through the woods on a reindeer.  This story is written as if it really happens, however, it leaves the suggestion that it may be a dream, and hints at the idea of Santa and his reindeer.  I like the mystery of this book and leaves space for a parent to help interpret what might be happening.  Few words and beautiful washed illustrations.

Finding Normalcy

Many of us are still in the throes of cleaning out, cleaning-up, and supporting neighbors. We may be for quite some time. It is difficult to pause to look at what our children need next.  This is an important pause, however difficult it may seem.  With the start of school pushed back a week, we are piecing together childcare, playdates, and camps.

Just like we may not know what is coming next, our children do not know what we have planned for them.  Returning to routine and normalcy is important to their sense of security, community, and trust in the world.  Here are some steps that might help your family get there.

Take time.  Take time to plan your next week, and if possible the next two weeks or month.  Adding in a class together, or a special stop for ice cream will help.  I told my children that today I will pick them up and we will go to the bookstore together.  This helps them keep focus on what we know and not get lost in what we don’t.  This helps keep the trust between us, and the calm as they see me as a decision-maker.

Don’t say what you can’t guarantee.  At this point, our children have been through quite a few surprises.  It is best if we stick to telling them what we do know about our routine.  You can say, “You will go to school on Monday September 11th.”  Show them the calendar, even if it’s just the one on your phone.  Point to today.  Count the number of days until Monday.  If your child is not in school yet, plan a date at the park with them.  Use your calendar to show them which day, always showing them today and then counting to the scheduled event.

Find your normal.  If you have a yoga class, space for meditation, or a route you like to run, take time to do it.  Not only does your body need to release this energy, but your mind needs the time and space.  We can help ourselves to process our feelings through physical exertion.  Returning to part of your routine that you can count on will help you feel more centered and then that feeling will carry to your child.