Are you either working with or raising teenagers? Then you must have had THAT conversation at least once, where your child either screams at you, shuts down when you speak or is so upset that they don’t want to have anything to do with you.
If you’re a teacher, should you try to talk to them and then walk away and call their parents right away? Should you give up on them?
If you’re a parent, should we scream at them and engaging in a yelling match? Should we instantly ground them for life?
We could totally do all of the above, but what would that achieve? In the end, everyone would be angry with each other and we would never really understand the problem to take appropriate steps to resolve the issue.
I have worked with teens who have been incardinated and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that these children need Love, Patience and Attention. They are like any other teenagers who really went down the wrong path because they didn’t have those three things.
No matter who the child is, they need YOU. They need your guidance. When they say hurtful things. Most often, it’s because they are hurt and are lashing out on the person who is closest to them….. in this case, you. Instead of engaging in this behavior and making the situation worse, let’s get to the heart of the matter by first taking some time to cool off and then coming together to have a civil and hopefully, heartwarming conversation.
Notice how I said cool off and now calm down. Many teens hate being told to calm down but are okay cooling off because it’s a workout terminology.
So yes, we can create a calm down area for teenagers as well, just like we would for younger children. HOWEVER, we would need to change out a few items and depending on your kids, perhaps even change the name from Calm Down Area to something along the lines of Cool Off Space or Chill Out Zone.
When your child needs some “me” time, don’t send them to it, but quietly ASK them if they would like to spend some time there. Also invite them to ask you when they feel they need some time to gather their thoughts. It means that you don’t engage in conversation at that moment, but you give them some room to work though their emotions. Make sure though, to set a time limit and see where they are at with their thoughts once their time is up. If they need more time, see if you can give it to them.
Once they are ready, then have that conversation and and how you BOTH can gradually integrate the child back into the lesson or whatever task they were working on prior to them needing some space.
Before I introduce our calming area, I let them know that it’s not about punishing them but about helping them calm down when they feel overwhelmed or anxious. It can also be used for those who need to step away from a task or situation to center them. We then talk about and I demonstrate how to use each of the items in this area so that we are all respectful of each other and our space.
Most teens don’t like a lot of colour, especially when they need that sensory break to calm down, so try to move away from the bright colours. You also don’t need a lot of pricy items and can make this work on a budget. If the picture below looks rather daunting or pricy for you, my freebie has some ways to work around it.
So let’s dig in. What can you use in your calming area?
Here we go with my 7 MUST HAVES:
While this freebie is a part of a larger paid product in my store (see below), it is FREE guide for you for because if you made it this far into the post, it means you are serious about creating a calming centre. I am so proud of you and would love to see pictures and hear about your own creations.
If you’ve already purchased the product, please note that they last page in this freebie is not included in the paid product, but it is an excellent reflective tool to help you get started.