March 11

Does your child take time out?

I much prefer the idea of introducing a Happy Place as it has positive rather than negative associations. Although sitting quietly may be initially difficult for some children, I do believe in time, they will come to appreciate and eventually love their Happy Place. In time, you may find that they automatically go to the place when they feel they need some space and this will be a skill they will have for life. How to create a Happy Place Work with your child to find a suitable place that they would like to relax. It could be a special chair, a colourful cushion or beautiful mat or rug in a quiet corner of the room. You may like to decorate an area if there is space. Keep a CD player/mp3 player close if you are happy for them to listen to music or a relaxation CD. Come up with a name with your child so it is memorable and appealing to them. Rather than asking your child to sit in their Happy Place when they have been 'naughty', it might be good to agree a time so it is a place that is associated with good feelings rather than negative ones. Allow children to sit in their Happy Place at least 1 minute for each year of their life. Let children sit in silence or with music with their eyes closed. They can focus on their breathing - taking in deep breaths and slowly letting them out. Children could repeat an affirmation 'I am calm, I am calm' Ask them to close their eyes and imagine they are in a different place that makes them really happy. Regular time spent in their Happy Place will help your child manage their anxieties. “I really like coming here it makes me happy” Sophie Age 6 “Can we do it again?” Ben Age 5

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