As my girls get older, their personalities are shining brightly through. At both three and four, the girls love hard, play hard, and fight hard. Their emotions sometimes gets the best of them.
Ansley has an amazing maternal instinct, but she is also the one who puts her emotions out on her sleeve (kind of like her momma). One of the most recent times of explosive emotions was Ansley meeting her little brother for the first time at the hospital: she was full of joy and then sadness when she realized we couldn't go home that night.
For my youngest, we're experiencing the "repeat everything 100 times until I get my way" behavior. When reprimanded, Aubrey gets so worked up that she begins to hyperventilate. However, when she's calm, she is the sweetest little girl, willing and happy to help.
With the release of Disney's Inside Out movie, the writers take these emotions and put them into character form so that children (and adults) can relate to them. As an added bonus, it makes it easy for me as a parent to talk to them about emotions and be able to relate to them using the movie.
With all of the characters, I've decided to create a reflection plush toy organizer for our reflection corner so they can look at all of the characters (with their related emotions) and think about how they are feeling. The reflection corner is another way of saying time out, but I hate the phrase time out because it has such a bad connotation with our kids. I feel like every time I say the word time out, they think "naughty". I'm making a valiant effort to understand that sometimes, my kids emotions spiral out of control, and they just need me to help them through those feelings rather than sit them in a corner. As a parent, it is hard for me because those moments in time are very frustrating for me, but I also have to see my kiddo's side as well.
Thus, our reflection corner is an area of our home where the kids go when their behavior is not acceptable, but allows them a place where they can feel better to join the family again. Ryan and I explained to them each of the characters and how we would be using them to call out and show they were feeling in that moment. (Sometimes, I wish I could put Ryan in the reflection corner. Kidding.)
So far, it has been going great. Here's what our reflection corner looks like.
It is located in the hallway between our master bedroom and the great room, where we spend most of our time. It has their wingback chair that they love, a pillow made by their Ma Tau (grandma in Laotian), and the plush toy box with Disney's Inside Out characters.
Here are my girls acting out (or trying to) each of the emotions (I left out fear):
Disney's Inside Out Plush Toys (Fear (not pictured), Anger, Disgust, and Joy)
Damage-free hanging hook
First, cut the yarn so that you can fold it four times the length that you want it to be (depending on how many plush toys you would like to add).
Second, tie a knot so that you have something your damage-free hanging hook can hold onto.
Third, braid the yarn loosely so that your clothes pin can fit into one of the braids.
Fourth, put the damage-free hanging hook onto the wall (in reach of little hands, not too high).
Fifth, hang your Inside Out plush toys! Wasn't that super easy? And to think, no more toys on the ground 🙂
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How do you help your children play and discover their own emotions?
This is SUCH a great idea. I've been trying to use something other than "time out" as well. My daughter sometimes just needs time alone to reflect about her emotions, and I send her to her room where she can decompress. My youngest son, who is 4, is much the same way, though he struggles with an explosive temper like his daddy. He's a little more difficult, but time out just stresses us all out. I love the idea of the reflection corner. Smart thinking! #client