She sat on the couch curled in a ball, sobbing. Again. I’m not even sure what it was this time, but I knew that she felt as if she was alone in the world because nobody liked her, understood her, or cared.
And, because nothing I could say at that moment would change her thoughts, I sat next to her and rubbed her back. Eventually, she climbed into my lap, and held on.
Parenting an emotionally intense, twice-exceptional, gifted child, who struggles with anxiety and sensory processing disorder is not easy. And there are many days I just wish things were different.
That she wouldn’t feel so much.
That she could regulate emotions more easily.
This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Conscious Discipline. All thoughts and experiences are mine alone.
I’m not a stranger to emotional intensity and overexcitabilities. Besides teaching gifted kids for a decade, and chatting with moms and dads around the country who struggle with emotional kiddos or their own, my oldest has always had trouble regulating his emotions as well.
But I worry more about my daughter. She lives with an empathetic spirit that is almost tangible.
You can see how she’s absorbing the feelings of others around her, internalizing what she sees on television or reads in books, and how she projects the greatest and worst of others’ feelings onto herself. She has all the feels all the time.
Since summer we’ve been taking her to occupational therapy to help her regulate her body, but have still struggled with her emotional regulation. Recently we’ve created a calm down area — or “safe space” as Dr. Becky Bailey of Conscious Discipline describes it — in a nook by the front door of our home.
Our sensitive soul, or any of the other kiddos, can head there when they feel like they need a bit of time to get in control of their emotions. The Feeling Buddies™ for Families Toolkit is helping us help our kids know, understand, and describe their feelings and emotions better.
And it’s bringing a new-found peace to our home.
What is the Feeling Buddies for Families Toolkit?
The Feeling Buddies for Families Toolkits comes with online video coaching, the Managing Emotional Mayhem book by Dr. Becky Bailey, Mini Feeling Buddies in a carrying case, Helping My Feeling Buddies (a kids’ book), and the Listen to Your Feelings CD. It’s comprehensive, easy to follow, and really, really good.
It’s a toolkit that’s been adapted from decades of award-winning work in classrooms so that parents can help their kiddos regulate their feelings at home, empowering them to become the emotionally intelligent world-changers they can be.
How are we using the Feeling Buddies for Families Toolkit?
The toolkit is reshaping our family culture. And, believe me, for all the times that I seem to have it together here on the site, and around social media, there are dozens of times that I don’t. Parenting is tough, and when you’re parenting intense kids, it gets even tougher. When you’re homeschooling those intense kiddos, life sometimes feels so overwhelming that you find yourself melting down at the slightest provocation.
As I’ve found myself lately.
Feeling Buddies are helping me too.
Reading through the book Managing Emotional Mayhem by Dr. Becky Bailey over the first few weeks of having the Feeling Buddies for Families Toolkit was cathartic. It was reminiscent of some of my favorite books on parenting gifted and intense children. And it helped me put parenting back into the right perspective.
And it reminded me that I’m neither alone, nor a failure as a parent.
Managing Emotional Mayhem outlines five steps for self-regulation. It’s not only a great process for your kiddo, but it’s pretty powerful for you too. It has been for me.
When using the Feeling Buddies for Families Toolkit in your home, you’re coaching your children on the path towards conflict resolution, accepting and responding to feelings (their own and others’), learning new skills, and establishing stronger relationships.
In our home we’ve creating a safe place for the kids to go to get themselves under control and to practice self-regulation and we’re using teachable moments throughout the day to help our kiddos learn newer and stronger conflict resolution skills.
How can you get the Feeling Buddies for Families Toolkit for yourself?
Do you need help with teaching your kids to manage their own emotions? I highly recommend the Feeling Buddies for Families Toolkit, and will be sharing more about how it’s working for us in the new year. I’m really excited about the changes I’ve seen already.
That little girl — convinced that nobody liked her — asked if she could grab “Sad” from the Feeling Buddies pouch, crawled out of my lap, and right back in. She held it close, looked at it face to face, described its look to it, breathed deeply, and told it, “You’re safe. You can handle this.” Then, she told me that she was ready to play again with her siblings.
And I breathed deeply.
We’ve got this, mamas. Sometimes we just need a little help. The Feeling Buddies for Families Toolkit is the help I’ve been looking for.
Want to see how it’s all going for us as we work through this program, you can follow along with the #FB4F hashtag on social media.
More posts about intense children: