Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Calming Jar: A technique that all parents should know

Maria Montessori

The calming jar is an essential technique for all parents as his main goal is to help children manage their whims, channeling emotions such as stress, anxiety and anger, so that they can find peace.

It is a technique inspired by the pedagogy of Maria Montessori, and is based in the idea that all emotions are important, even those considered negative. It also indicates that it is essential to transform all these emotions into words, so that children can become aware. Only then they will learn to manage them.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of this technique is that although it is designed for children, it can also be useful to parents or to anyone else, because it is useful for dealing with feelings such as sadness, anger, resentment and anger.

How does the calming jar works?

When your child is angry or stressed, his heart rate and breathing speed up, sending to the brain the signal that he’s in danger. As a result, it will be more difficult for the child to control his thoughts and reactions while an emotional block is produced. In these cases, words are not very effective.

But the calming jar works the same way of yoga, meditation or relaxation, is a stress management technique that helps liberating the mind. It allows the child or the person forget those negative emotions they were feeling, leaving in its place a sense of peace, calm and serenity.

This technique helps children to concentrate their nervous system on a specific stimulus. By focusing on the movement which is generated inside the jar, it is generated unknowingly a mental order that contributes reducing the alarm level and, therefore, the psychomotor agitation.

The movements of the purple glitters inside the can have an almost hypnotic effect that captures our attention and helps clear the mind of all thoughts that feed anger or anxiety. When we focus on the jar we empty the mind, so to relax more easily.

It must be said that this technique can be applied starting from the age of two years, and is also effective with teens. Once anger is gone, parents can talk to the child about what happened to find a solution together. While time passes you will be surprised to discover that your son, when frustrated or angry, will look for the calming jar to relax. No doubt it will be a big step, because it means he has learned to identify his emotions and, instead of giving them free rein, is able to apply a self-control technique.

The calming jar is a technique, not a punishment

If you use this technique with your children, it is important they do not make a negative association. Therefore, threats and punishments do not find place. In fact, the calming jar is not a synonym for a “thinking corner” in which we send the children to reflect on their bad behavior. It is a personal growth technique, not a punishment.

Therefore, it is desirable that the first time you apply the technique, also accompany the child during the process. In fact, it is likely that you too feel a little bit of anxiety, stress or frustration with the answers and child's reactions, so that the calming jar will help you calm down and regain perspective.

Investing time and keep close will teach them the importance of managing their emotions. When you stay with your child you can guide him through the process of relaxation and give him instructions for him to learn do it alone. For example you can tell him: “Now we’ll sit down with the calming jar to relax. We remain silent and breathe deeply. Concentrate on the purpurin mouvements”.

It is important to provide this information with a calm and relaxed tone of voice. Gradually, the child will realize that can handle his emotions and clear his mind whenever he wants. In fact, the calming jar is one of the best gifts you can give to your child.

How to prepare the calming jar?

To prepare the calming jar is necessary to have at hand a clear plastic jar and fill it halfway with hot water. Then you can add a little of transparent liquid glue and glycerin, the glue will ensure that water gets denser, so the more we add the slower the movement of small grains of glitter. In addition, glycerin serves to create a contrast density, making sure that the purpurin glitters falls in a different way for the entire length of the can.

Finally we add the glitter and a little more water, taking care to leave a height of air space of about an inch so that the content has enough room to move. In fact, the secret is that when you shake the jar purpurin creates an almost hypnotic movement that helps the child control himself. But it is essential that the child understands that is a technique to help him feeling good and grow as a person.


Keep feeding your neurons

The Calming Jar: A technique that all parents should know
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Jennifer Delgado Suárez

Psicologist by profession and passion, dedicated to to string words together. Discover my Books


Psychology as you never heard about...

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