Well we are week 3 of summer holidays, and it has been a rocky 3 weeks, several melt downs later I think we are past the worst.
It started prior to school breaking up, structure breaks down at end of term, childrens excitement hits the roof, this has a massive effect on our children, you see them struggle to manage their excitement the professionals would say, they struggle to self regulate. They struggle to manage stress, if stress is not managed it becomes “DISTRESS”
As Suzanne Zeedyke would say, they need their internal teddy bear to help them manage stress, to comfort them when they are scared or sooth them when the are angry or hurt. Our children who have suffered distrupted attachment or early trauma may not have an internal teddy bear to help them, or it may be underdeveloped.
This thought in mind, I wondered what I could do to help my wee one regulate during this stressful time.
Ok, I thought, why dont we give this developing internal teddy bear a buddy to help out. Something visual and sensory. Something that can say the words she needs to hear when she is struggling and I am at work. Something we can spray my perfume on and she can smell when she is hugging it for comfort.
Build a Bear ! I thought.
Next day I prepared her for a trip to town, I told her all about Build a bear, I loaded the website on the lap top, and let her have a look. I told her we were going to build a teddy bear together, and because we were building it together, I would give it lots of hugs that she could get from the teddy when I was not with her, when she was scared and when she was worried or angry.
She had chosen her special teddy bear online, she was delighted when we entered the shop to see the teddy ready made in real life.
It took a wee while for her to understand that we would build the teddy ourselfs, she picked up the teddy bear and took it to the stuffing area, we sat together and helped put the stuffing in, she loved this as she was able to have a squishy teddy for hugging. We chose a heart, and both made a wish before putting it into the teddy.
Next we chose the sound, she found this a wee bit tricky as there were lots to chose from this just puts here under pressure as she struggles to choose,,,,,,, I said to her
“I love you”,
then pressed the Sound button that said ” I love you”, thats the one she wanted.
Thankfully as that was the plan all along so could hear the words I Love YOU when she was worried that her family didnt love her, teddy would remind her that we all loved her.
Outfit chosen, and the naming ceremony, she was then presented with her very own special teddy along with its birth certificate. I have big plans for you Mr Ted I thought.
I then told her that teddy was a special friend who will help her when she feels scared and angry.
I told her that when mummy was at work, she would be able to ask teddy what mummy says, press its paw, and teddy would reply
“I Love YOU”
When she feels like mummy loves her sister and not her to have teddy give her a big hug to remind her that Mummy love her just the same, as teddy would say
“I love YOU ” as she gives it a squishy hug.
When she needs a hug but is stuggling to come close, take one of mummys cuddles from teddy again hearing it say ” I love YOU”.
In one week, teddy had been very very busy, working with her as her internal teddy grow. Only one major melt down in one week, which is really positive at this time but we must remember even in times of calm, we need to include teddy.
Our children need help sometimes with self regulation, if we can help them regulate we can reduce the melt downs, in my home its all trial and error some work some dont, but thanx Suzanne Zeedyk, at the minute teddy is a great addition to our family.