Join me for the advent of calm Montessori style. 24 days of tips from a Montessori teacher to help you stay calm over the holiday season. #adventofcalm
Day 1, let’s talk about marshmallow evenness
Ever heard of equanimity? You may like to try it. Just imagine yourself in a marshmallow. I guess you’ll need to watch the video to find out what I mean…
Day 2, let’s make a list of calm
Today we are going to make a list of calm and spend just 2 minutes a day on one thing from our list that will help us relax and do one small thing for ourself each day.
Day 3, let’s observe objectively
In day 3 we look at how observing our children objectively – like all Montessori teachers do – can help us stop getting worked up and allows us to work out how we can best support them.
Day 4, let’s connect and fill their bucket
Sometimes we need a little reminder to slow down and do something fun with our kids – after all the holiday season is about connection. So to fill their emotional bucket, let’s forget the glitter but make some simple holiday cards and send some calm around the world.
Day 5, let’s keep it simple
It’s Day 5 of the #adventofcalm. Happy Sinterklaas everyone! Very timely to talk about what we can learn from celebrating the holidays Dutch-style. Spoiler alert: it’s about keeping things simple. I’d love to hear about how you celebrate in your part of the world. Is it busy? Or calm? Let me know!
Day 6, they are not giving us a hard time
The advent of calm continues with my favourite quote this year which I learned from Voilà Montessori: “they are not giving you a hard time; they are having a hard time”. This perspective helps us shift from a battleground to staying calm and supporting our child instead. It’s a magical shift ✨. Listen on to hear more…
Day 7, let’s start and end the day right!
Happy hump day! Can you believe it’s already one week into December? Are you still mostly calm? Today I’m sharing my biggest secret to staying calm…starting and ending the day right. I’m a slow starter so I try to wake up 30 minutes before everyone else in the house. Then I have time to lie in my bed, meditate, write some gratitude and choose three things to make the day amazing. And in the evening, I soak in the bath, switch off my phone and write at least one amazing thing that happened that day. I’d love you to try it this month. It’s the best way I’ve found to keep me calm, less reactive and zen.
Day 8, let’s set up our homes for calm
Have you ever thought you could use your home to help keep you calm? Instead of chasing around after your child’s every request, make a note of the things they ask for help with and see if you can set up your home to help you.
It might be having their plates and bowls available in a low cupboard in the kitchen, or having hand mitts at the ready for inevitable spills. You can have small amounts of paper and craft supplies at the ready. And baskets or trays of activities on low shelves with all the things they need carefully prepared.
Day 9, let’s keep it simple
It’s only 9 days into December and I’m exhausted! So I’m going to take my own advice today to keep it simple and tuck myself in early.
Day 10, let’s bake!
Ahhh. Feeling much better after a good night’s sleep. And all ready for Day 10 of the #adventofcalm. With a special guest today – my daughter Emma – to talk about our holiday ritual of baking. Hope you find it a bit of fun. Enjoy your Saturday everyone!
PS Here is our favourite gingerbread recipe to get you started.
Day 11, are they making it our problem?
Getting wound up, angry or frustrated by our children? There’s a good chance they are making something our problem. Instead, when we come from a place where we can support and guide them with their problem, we are able to stay calm and our children feel more supported.
Day 12, why it’s important to look after ourselves
We are half way! That means just 12 more days til Christmas. I hope that you are enjoying the holiday season and letting go of the stress. In addition to our list of calm from Day 2, I wanted to talk to you about looking after ourselves. Why is it so important? So we can show up better for our families. I’ll also sharing how I use breathing to reset my brain. It works. I promise! If you won’t do it for yourself, do it so you can be calm for your kids.
Day 13, why we might want to expect the worst
Now for Day 13 and we are going to use the wisdom of an ancient philosopher Seneca. He suggests we should expect the worst to happen and then if things work out we’ll be pleasantly surprised. This totally helps us manage our expectations and keep us all calm. Watch the short 1-minute video to find out more!
Day 14, set clear boundaries for yourself
Keep calm and set clear boundaries for yourself. I love this quote from Brene Brown: “Boundaries are a clear understanding of what’s ok with what’s not ok for you. No way that you can be truly genuinely deeply compassionate and generous towards somebody if they are violating your boundaries at the same time”. Let’s use this advice to think about what is important to us, make a few house rules and set limits early before your boundary is crossed. #adventofcalm #day14. Click here for the video.
Day 15, see the world through your child’s eyes
I think one of the most important parts of staying calm is showing empathy to our child. We move from seeing them as naughty or trying to wind us up, to a place where we see the world through their eyes. We can walk in their shoes and help them process their feelings instead. Watch on for today’s 1-minute tip…
Day 16/17, letting go
Day 18, get outdoors
Hope you had a fun weekend wherever you may be. Here’s day 18 of the #adventofcalm where we get outside and you see how I may not be that helpful at teaching my niece and nephew how to iceskate!
Day 19, when kids do something on purpose and laugh
But how do you stay calm when your child does something they know they are not supposed to do and then they give you that cheeky smile?! Ignore it? They are likely just to do it again until they get a reaction. So I’m offering you an alternative. Why not try offering help? This way you aren’t ignoring them, nor are you saying I allow this behaviour. You are saying you support them even when they’ve lost control. And you can stay calm. ✨
Day 20, you can be late so stop rushing
A special edition of the #adventofcalm. Today’s tip comes from a viewer! She finds rushing just slows them down and stresses her out. So she doesn’t even look at her watch as they are getting ready or going somewhere. And she’s rarely late! Watch on…
Day 21, be calm, be present
Something I find SO difficult! To stop being distracted and be more present. It might just have something to do with ditching multi-tasking, being intentional when we choose to check Facebook and Instagram, and eating together. Watch on…
Day 22, what about when we are not 100% calm
This is one of my favourites from the #adventofcalm. Because life gets messy. So what do we do when we get it wrong and we lose our calm?
It’s totally normal. I’m getting it wrong ALL the time. Watch on…
First, let’s forgive ourselves. We are doing our best. Second, take responsibility for your mistake and make amends. And, third, write it down so you can work out later how you could do it better next time. Always learning. Always practising. It IS messy. And that’s ok.
Day 23, doing something for someone else
As we near the end of the #adventofcalm, I’d like to put our attention on others. After all, it feels good to help other people.
So let’s get our charity on.
Buy some cans for the food bank, bake cookies for your neighbours, or buy a present for someone in need. You benefit someone else + you feel good doing so + you model to your kids care of others = win, win, win.
Watch today’s short 1-minute video to get you inspired!
Day 24, press ctrl + alt + delete
Thank you everyone for following along with our #adventofcalm. It was me needing all the tips today as the day got off to a crazy start and I was getting stressed out – ah, the irony.
Until I received the best advice ever which I’ll share with you in today’s last video – press CTRL + ALT + DELETE and start the day over – with another special guest.
Wishing you all the merriest festive season and I’ll be back with more Montessori inspiration in 2017!
PS Thanks to www.bensound.com for the music