playTherapy

Author Carmen Jimenez

Outspoken Counseling and Consulting LLC is excited to announce the publishing of the first children's book written by our Clinical Director, Carmen Jimenez. The publication "No, No Elizabeth" is Jimenez's first published work.

The story follows a sweet little girl named Elizabeth who wants to play all day! From running around outside to jumping on the bed, she's a curious little girl. But Mommy, Daddy and even Liza the kitty can't always play and sometimes they must say "no." Through this sweet colorful book, early readers will learn just because grown ups say "no" sometimes, doesn't mean they love any less.

You can preorder this book from Amazon or Warren Publishing's website! Live readings and workshops will be announced soon!

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15 Fun Ways to Play and Connect with your Child

15 Fun Ways to Play and Connect with your Child

Because connection with your child is so essential.  I am sharing some fun and playful ways to engaged with your child.

1. Chase Games – These can be done outdoors in just a few minutes, or even inside!  We have a safe zone in our house for chasing games!  They can involve your child chasing you, you chasing your child, playing tag where one person is “it”, etc.  There can be hugs at the end when a person is caught – or a tickle!

2. Hide and Seek – Kids as young as 2 can begin to play this favorite.  Start off by hiding yourself and having them try to find you.  Or hide an item and look for it together.  Give a hug when the person is found – or chase back to a certain spot!

3. The Mommy/Daddy Trap Game – The mommy/daddy trap is a snug hug that is given to your child, while sitting on a couch or bed.  The parent wraps his or her arms and legs around their child, hugging, but also “trapping” them in the hug.  When the parent says a “magic” word the child then tries escape from the hug.  This is done in a playful and silly manner.  My son absolutely loves this game and we end up playing it for over 20 minutes at a time!

4. Tickles – Some kids like tickles and some don’t and it’s important to always respect your child’s wishes for their own body.  Tickles can be a game in themselves, or a reward while playing hide and seek or a chase game.  Kids also usually love to tickle adults – even if they don’t like it themselves!

5. This Little Piggy – I began playing this game with my son when he was an infant and I use it on all the foster children who enter my home.  The traditional form of “This Little Piggy,” but I change the locations of where the little piggy goes….for example, “this little piggy went to the park, this little piggy went to Starbucks, this little piggy went to the swimming pool, this little piggy went to Toys R Us, and this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home.”  I am amazed at how many time children will ask for “more, more” when playing this!!  Always a favorite at our house – even with a 9 year old!

6. Dancingto Music – When my son was three he loved to dance and march in place.  He would do this for hours.  It never ceased to generate smiles and laughter!  Create your own special dance – or play some fun music and get up, out of your chair, and dance with your kids.  You will be amazed at how fun this can be!

7. Floor Play - Sometimes doing a simple activity like a jigsaw puzzle, or a stacking game together on the floor can be all a child needs to connect.  Open-ended toys like blocks, cars and trucks, and dolls provide many ways for your child to direct the play and you to follow their lead – something kids love!

8. Exploration Walks Outside –  There’s something about being outside together, in a natural area, that is good for the soul!  Try exploring a new park, a local pond, or even just follow a trail that you haven’t been down before.   My favorite spot in our town is the “greenbelt” where we can hop on at any location, leading to a new set of discoveries.  Your child will pick up on your sense of adventure and exploration and you’ll get some fresh air and sunshine!

9. Imaginative Play – One of the toddler and preschooler’s favorite forms of play. Join in his/her play by being a willing participant (be a firefighter too!), a helping character (become the mechanic when the train breaks), or a subordinate (be the patient when she’s the doctor.)  Remember to follow your child’s lead, ask questions like “Where should we go next?  What should we do next?” and get on his/her level when playing.

10. Slippery Arm – Using lots of lotions, gently hold onto your child’s arm and have them try to pull their arm away from you.  Because of the lotion, the should be able to get away easily.  If it is difficult to get away, use more lotion!  This is a playful and giggle worthy game.  Great for nurturing a child because of the touch that is occurring.  Trade places and let your child grab your arm too!

11. Build a Fort–  This is one of my son’s very favorite activities and ways to connect!  I have pictures of building forts when he was 2 and 3 years old, and he continues at age 9 to love inventing new construction in our home.  It’s a great time to wrap each other up in blankets and have a pillow fight while being creative!

12. Pillow Play – When your kids are old enough to enjoy it, have a good old-fashioned pillow fight!  Perfect physical play with guaranteed giggles!

13. Creating - Make art together or build something together.  Need some inspiration check out Pinterest for new ideas?

14. Mirroring Games – These are guaranteed a laugh, as long as your child doesn’t feel he/she is being mocked. Spontaneously start copying what your child is doing!  Make funny faces and try to imitate each other.  Follow the leader.  Keep in mind, once you begin this game your child may continue far beyond when you end the game!!

15. Nightly Snuggle and Chat – A really nice way to end the day, I do this with my son every night.  After reading our bedtime story, we snuggle for a bit while talking about what happened that day.  It’s great for helping your child feel listened to and in turn to develop listening skills, but most of all it’s really nice bonding time.

Calming Jars

Take a moment to think about the last time you put your child diagnosed with ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder in time out. Ask yourself the following questions:

Did my child willing go to time out without screaming or talking back?

How long did my child stay in their room, seated in one place, without destroying the room or falling asleep?

How long did the naughty step work?

How long did it take for my child to walk away from the corner?

If you have no issues or concerns with time out and was able to provide a positive answer to all the above questions, congratulations on your parenting skills! Now for the rest of you having some trouble surrounding time out lets move forward.

Sending a child to time-out can cause increased defiant behaviors, emotional breakdowns or an aggressive tantrums. Finding alternative ways to refocus the behaviors and frustration becomes very important. Utilizing a tool called the “Calming Jar” can become an effective method to calming down and control defiant and emotional behaviors. The jar is mixed with water and glitter. The child shakes the jar and they are challenged with watching the glitter as it settles. This will allow the child to transition into a calming state.

The process of using the calming jar starts when the jar is made. I recommend the calming jar be created with the child, in order for them to take ownership of the jar. This will also allow an opportunity for you as the parent to fully explain the purpose of the calming jar. The jar can have multiple uses that will best benefit your child. For example you can utilize the jar as a time during play or reading time.

Below are instructions on how to create your calming jar.

Materials Needed:

Jar or Plastic bottle

Glue

Glitter

Water

Add everything to the jar or bottle. Use warm water and give it a good shake to get the glue mixed in well.

Yoga in the Therapy Room

I love the ability to bring my yoga training into the therapy room. I'm working with a child diagnosed with ADHD with trouble following directions and making good choices in the home and school setting. Our overall focus is to be become "Grounded" ( having a secure feeling of being in touch with reality and your personal feelings) and increase listening skills and decrease impulsive behaviors. I'm utilizing my Grounded Kids yoga training because it offers various opportunities to develop good listening skills, controlling impulsive movements, increasing focus and learning to relax most important my kids really enjoy it. I love to explore the many benefits of yoga!

 

Namaste! Get Grounded!      #freedomyogasc #yogatherapy #groundedkidsyoga #namaste

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