With the change of the weather, you might find a change in your child’s mood. These shorter days, and frigid temperatures are not conducive to outside play and a cooped up child can be an unhappy child. Oftentimes, parents struggle to keep their children entertained, engaged, and emotionally regulated when they are forced to spend most of the day inside. Putting your child in front of a TV might seem like a simple solution to this problem but, turning the TV off is a challenge that many parents do not want to take on. Instead, try some alternative activities that can entertain your child in a productive way so that you can predict your child’s moods much better than you can the erratic winter weather.
For an artsy child:
1.) Have your child paint their hand and stamp it on a paper to create a turkey. Then have them decorate each feather (finger) with a different pattern or design that represents their different moods. This gives your child the opportunity to think about their moods and discuss them with you as they come up in the activity.
2.) Changing Tree. Just as the seasons are changing, so are we. Have your child draw a tree with several leaves on it. They can draw leaves on the ground that have fallen off the tree as well. Once they are done creating their tree have them go back and write down things that have changed in their lives on the leaves that have fallen off. On the leaves on the tree have them write down things they would like to change. On the tree trunk have them write things that stay the same, and they would like to keep the same. This will give you an opportunity to open up a discussion with your child about things in their life that could be improved, or have improved, and to just discuss change in general.
For an energetic child:
1.) Feelings dance. Play your child’s favorite songs of the week and have them dance different emotions. For example, you can say let’s dance like we are happy, and have a happy expression, then you could choose sad, and show them how it might look if you are sad. Take turns choosing emotions. This will give your child an opportunity to learn about different emotions and how they manifest in our expressions and how one might look when they are feeling certain ways.
2.) Turkey tag. Work together with your child to create a thanksgiving themed relay race. Between each stop have them say something they are thankful for as an opportunity to reflect. Ex: run from one spot to another then say something they’re thankful for, then, do 10 jumping jacks and say another thing etc. This gives your child the opportunity to get their energy out while also doing some reflection.
For a teenager:
1.) Thanksgiving Mantra. Have your teen tell you one attribute of theirs that they are thankful for. Ex: “strength.” Then have them paint that word on a canvas and talk about attributes of theirs that you admire. This will help your teen with confidence and self-esteem.
2.) Yoga. Have your teen put on some comfy clothes, and join them for some “living grateful” yoga. This will give you and your teen the opportunity to relax, get some exercise, and connect with your bodies. https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene
Some local events to try this month: