Montessori At Home: Breathing Exercises

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Children feel an entire spectrum of emotions, even if they don’t have the vocabulary to express it. Our work as teachers and parents then is in helping them to manage their emotions and their consequent actions. This is important work inside the classroom and at home, and requires practice and patience. 

In Montessori practice we do not send misbehaving children to a time out on their own. Instead, we invite them to sit with us until they are ready to go back to work and respect the freedoms within the limitations of the classroom. While they sit with us we can help them to calm down and identify their emotions. It is important for children to know that even when they are behaving badly we love them and want to help them. By inviting them to sit with us we are not condoning bad behavior, but we are building a path toward better behavior. This is a replicable practice at home, too! 

Another avenue toward emotion regulation is through breathing exercises that will help your child (and you!) calm down in moments of frustration or other big emotions. First introduce to your child the idea of inhale and exhale, breathing in and breathing out. Useful metaphors are smelling flowers for inhalation and blowing bubbles for exhalation. Have your child lay down and place their hand on their belly and feel it grow bigger as they breathe in, and go down as breath out. You can help count for them as they breathe in for four counts, out for four counts. For a list of other breathing exercises and tips for children, check out this link. 

Talk to your teachers and the staff at the school for more ideas about helping your child manage their emotions and behavior. 

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