Welcome to our chill out spot!
Back story: In a large home schooling family like ours, kids often get stressed out being together all the time. When that happens, they are more likely to bicker. And when THAT happens, Mom gets spazzed too. Not good.
So... Our Christian family therapist recommended that we create a chill out spot somewhere in our house. It's just a comfy cozy corner, even in a room that others might normally be in. It's a place to go when you're feeling edgy or just in need of some solitude.
Rule # 1 is that if you're in there, no one else is supposed to bother you or even talk to you! Period!
We picked a corner of the living room, wedged between the piano and the couch. The movable wall/door is a blanket rack - with a blanket on it, of course! We did have to move out a large fish tank to make room.
A view from the top with big pillows, a bean bag chair,and a Sesame Street sleeping bag.
That yellow bin? It's full of dried beans. Six pounds of pintos and great northerns, to be exact. Apparently, it's therapeutic to plunge your hands into the beans and play around with them. Yes, it works.
Rule #2: Beans stay in the bin. My grandson didn't quite get that memo.
Rule #3: No food or drink except for water. We don't want to attract bugs.
There's another smaller bin, this one with tiny fidget toys like interlocking erasers. We even have a stress ball to squeeze and a snow globe to shake.
Rule #4: Don't take stuff out of the chill out spot. Not sure where the stress ball is right now...
And a pile of picture books...
So far, our chill out spot has been a big hit.
One glitch: the first night, one child pitched a fit because she wanted another turn... Oh my. Since then, it's been pretty cool. And it's been pretty well occupied by our five younger kids, ages 7 to 16. In fact, all three nights, a different kid was sleeping in there.
The chill out spot is preventive medicine. It's where kids send themselves for a time out before they (or you) blow up. It's also restorative medicine -- good for after blow ups too!
Got kids with stress? Give it a try!
You might also like:
- The 12 P's of Stress Busting for Moms
- Amazing Grace for Home School Moms (audio)
- Tender Compassion for Mothers