Finally, she looked at me and said, "You always tell me to take my time so I don't get stressed, but you keep rushing me today. I think you should do what you always tell me to do and stop, take a deep breath and relax!"
She was so right!!! I was so focused on keeping her on her routine that I lost site of being the calm, steady, therapuetic mom she needs. I was so excited that she could verbalize that to me and help me remember.
So I became a S.T.A.R. (stop, take a deep breath and relax), thanked her, gave her a big hug, then she took her shower and got ready for bed.
I work in the field of early childhood education and am a big fan of Dr. Becky Bailey's Conscious Discipline Method. Conscious Discipline is based on brain research of how we handle stressful situations and is all about strengthening social-emotional skills. The symbols below coordinate with some simple relaxation exercises she has. The first is the "Be a S.T.A.R" that my daughter reminded me of: stop (or smile), take a deep breath, and relax. The balloon, drain and pretzel are also great techniques for getting rid of some tension and taking a moment to regroup. While Dr. Bailey's stuff is largely used in classrooms, it works great at home with traumatized children. I encourage you to check out her website because there are lots of FREE tools on it that you can print to use at home including posters of the relaxation techniques and a feelings chart.