Most children need a calm and secure home life in order to thrive. Children who have extra challenges such as being highly sensitive, higher needs, AD/HD, etc really need this. The main question parents ask me in relation to this idea is:
How do I get this? I want it but I don’t seem to be able to get it!
There are easy steps you can take toward taming chaos in the family.
- Find the triggers for everyone in the family. Sometimes we can readily identify what our children’s triggers are, from clothes to routine changes to foods to light and sound, but we also need to think about the triggers of the adults in the house. If we understand what all of the triggers in the family are, we can more easily all live in peace together.
- If the child is out of control, we don’t add fuel to the fire and ramp it up – we provide a calm response. Be the calm. Inner work of any form – prayer, meditation, yoga, physical exercise/walking meditation, being in nature – all helps us be the calm.
- We don’t blame the other adults in the house. We enlist each other’s strengths, we give each other outs if things are getting intense, and we work as a team. Some families need counseling to really grasp this as a technique.
- We provide a home environment that is calming and secure: we take care of addictions and baggage, we provide balance, we provide a clean environment that is reasonably orderly, we provide routine and boundaries. We provide love and connection and listening.
- We take care of the basic levels of calm by providing adequate hours for sleep, healthy meals, and really monitoring the effects of sleep and different kinds of foods on our children.
- Lastly, if our child is school-aged, we do our best to find educational settings that match what our children need.
- If we are drowning, we get help. It can be a trusted family member or friend to help you organize, it can be that you ask for help with meals, it can be that you take time off of homeschooling and deal with the physical space in your home. Ask for help and be open to receiving it.
I would love to hear how you tamed your own chaos!
Blessings and love,
Thank you so much for this excellent post and especially for calling attention to the affects of food and light/sound etc. on our children as relating to calm or chaos. I wanted to share that *seasonal allergies* are also a huge factor in our family. I know that most people are aware of the itchy eyes, sneezing etc. of “hay fever” but for us seasonal allergies also have an emotional effect and really influence the way we need to approach calm vs. chaos during the spring when allergies are at their worst. With my young boys, they can be mostly happy-go-lucky, cooperative, polite, focused etc. (of course, I say this within the realm of childhood ups and downs) but then as soon as pollens start to escalate bam! they are much more unruly, restless, prone to anger or bickering or crying, their emotions are more raw and more easily set on edge. My mom says I was also like this as a child and even as an adult I find myself feeling more easily anxious or bothered by things during allergy season. I just wanted to point this out because I am guessing we are not the only ones who experience this and yet most medical professionals do not recognize that allergies can affect the emotions, it is not something commonly mentioned. For us, allergy season is a time of adjusting expectations, trying to give ourselves permission to rest more, take on fewer outside obligations, limit overstimulating activities, and be gentle with ourselves.
Kate – right? This is huge! We live in the Pollen Belt, and it is so hard this time of year for so many people! Blessings, and thank you for that wonderful reminder! Carrie
this post appears to be written exactly for our family! Being a waldorf8ish) family with (at least) three kids and a husband with adhd – chaos is the natural stage. I am severly chronically ill (which ads to the stress and the chaos.
The last couple of month I tended to buy “stuff” to get calmer and better behaved kids – stuff like games and toys and sweets … – guess how well that worked. I even bought tablets for them, even though i strongly believe that media free kids do better, but i could get them to stop this running around, fighting and destroying – and got able to get at least a little bit of downtime.
now I am surrounded by stuff, nothing stays where it is supposed to be, this adhd thing that they need to actually “See” there stuff does not really help.
So now I have to declutter, get rid of stuff and organize because I am totally convinced that my kids need calm surroundings, so that the eyes and the brain don’t get overwhelmed just by looking around.
Thank you for your post!
Thank you so much for being here! I am so sorry about your illness, I know how difficult chronic illness can be on a household and I am so excited to hear what new energy comes from new traditions and new ideas. Keep me posted, and if you want to talk email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Blessings and love, Carrie
Meditation & recognizing how I’m feeling in a moment are helpful & waiting for intense feelings to pass helps me. But sometimes there r just seasons that are more challenging. Part of life is change and challenge.