The Calm Down Fairy has been a regular visitor to our home in recent weeks. As I have posted before Peakles is quite tall for her age and she is witty, clever and feisty. She does not look three and does not act like a three-year old. Although she celebrates her 4th birthday in June – she acts more like some of the children who will be five in September.
This has caused us some problems at home and when we are out and about. It usually happens when she is tired or bored. Peakles then acts like her true age, she has tantrums, is defiant and pushes the boundaries by stamping her feet and shouting. She also finds it difficult to calm down when she loses her temper and this can end up with her actually becoming very distressed and upset. To someone who does not know Peakles, she appears to be a naughty five-year old not a three-year old having tantrums.
When I have been out with Peakles I have had people stand and stare, or strangers tutting and raising their eyes all of which I can shrug off. However, it is their comments either directed at me or even worse directed at Peakles that I find unhelpful, unnecessary and upsetting.
So what to do? Well first I have stopped apologising for her. For us. If anyone says anything I just ignore them or say she is three. I have firmly asked strangers not to tell her she is a ‘naughty girl’ or that she ‘needs a smacked bottom’ or that they will ‘call the policeman’ (it doesn’t help and I don’t want her thinking she is a naughty child that should be beaten or that she should be scared of the police).
Next we have a special fairy who helps Peakles! She is called the Calm Down Fairy and she appears when children need help to calm down! Just by talking about the Calm Down Fairy or saying ‘shhhh can you hear that? I think the Calm Down Fairy is singing!’ can be enough of a distraction to help defuse the situation. Peakles has responded well to this and I often hear her talking to her toys about the Calm Down Fairy. This special fairy has also taught Peakles some basic relaxation techniques which has helped too.
We have a Calm Down Fairy Chart which I have made from an unused family wall calendar – we look at simple things such as putting her own clothes on, not talking when someone is on the phone, to take turns and so on.
Every week she gets a small treat if she has tried really hard and at the end of each month she gets a large treat. We are into our third month and it seems to be going well. Oh and praising good behaviour is paramount!
We look forward to going out more and the more we go out the more positive we are and the more positive experiences we have, the more we want to go out!
Finally we have our Calm Down Fairy stars which are Bach’s Rescue Remedy chewy stars. These are for children over the age of two and can be found in various health food stores. We do not use these all the time as I don’t want her to think they are a reward for her behaviour, but sometimes just giving her a star can calm things down.
I’m not an expert and I would never claim to be one but this is just something that seems to be working for our family at the moment!
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