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Four Strategies You Can Try To Decrease the Stress with the Children Inside on a Rainy Day

Nobody can deny, having children cooped up in the house on a rainy day can be one of the most infuriating and frustrating experiences ever especially when you not only have your own children in the house but the rest of the streets children as well.

So what do you do?

Well as a parent it is your responsibility to help these children develop the skills to act in a responsible way. The most effective way, is to do that by getting all the children involved in activities together, with you. This will do two things, one it will help you set the ground rules on behavior in the house that is acceptable and two it will allow the children as a whole to socialise and to work as a group together. Learning the ability to socialise and to work together as a team will hold them in great stead as they enter university or go into the work force.

So how do we do that …I have outlined below four strategies that will help you to keep the children occupied whilst it is raining outside.

Strategy 1 - Play Group Games

In the hustle and bustle of our world today, far too many families do not spend enough time socialising with their children. One of the best ways to do this is to turn off the computer or computer games and to play a group game together regardless of the age of the children. That is right; you can include children as young as 2 and as old as sixteen with these games. The choice which is most important is the game you play.

When you are playing group games, everyone must have a role for each person or if someone is not included they are going to become disruptive and this strategy will not work. One of the games my parents used to play with me, my brother and our friends was Monopoly. Now I here you all saying it, how is a two year old going to play this game. Well, in reality, you need to include the younger people with the older children so that they can work as a team.

The older member makes the decision on what houses to buy, whether to build a hotel or how much rent to charge but the younger children, can role the dice and count to where the pieces need to go on the board, slightly older children at the age of 5 or 6 could actually read the Chance cards out. From an educational point of view, having the two year olds count the number of squares their piece needs to jump to will help with them learn their numbers for school. Getting the 5 or 6 year olds to read the Chance cards helps them to learn to read and being in a team with an older child will help them learn as a team and the older children learn the ability of patience and also how to work in a team with people of varying age. Plus the most important thing is that the older children learn the value of money.

Ultimately, playing group games like this will help all of the children and adolescents in their development towards becoming an adult and you as the parents will get to keep your sanity for another day. One thing I would strongly suggest is that you never tell a child they are to young to be involved, always find something for them to do in the game, so that they feel just as involved as the others. If you have ever watched a child grow up, they always tell you that they are a big kid now, help them to become one and play an important role in society as the skills you teach them now are what they will use as adults.

Strategy 2 - Have a Bake Off

Rainy Days are absolutely fantastic for Bake Off days. Now if you do not know what a bake off day is, it is a day where the kids make their own deserts for lunch or afternoon tea. These were fantastic times in our family and one of the key benefits it taught me was how to cook. In the days of fast food, many adults have seemed to by pass the art of cooking. When I met my wife, she was flat out boiling an egg but over the last few years she has become an accomplished cook.

When you have a bake off, cook simple things like cookies or muffins as these are really simple things to cook and all the children regardless of age can help. Whilst I do not condone 2- 8 year olds going anywhere near an oven (that is for grown ups) they can play an important role in putting all the ingredients together, mixing them, measuring them out and most importantly decorating them at the end. The key advantage of getting them to do the measuring them is to help them learn measurements, counting and numbers. You can also get them to read the instructions in the cook book or on the back of the packets.

When the cookies or muffins are ready to be decorated, play a game with the children in getting them to count the number of items they are going to put on their cookies or muffins. For example if they were going to put a face on the muffin, talk about how many eyes will you put on the muffin, where will you put the mouth on the muffin and how many ears will it have. Each of these discussions will help in learning to count and they will also improve their skills in expressing themselves.

Strategy 3 - Discuss A Book, Video or Computer Game Together

When people first here of the third strategy, they immediately think about books like the Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter but they do not have to be. Look when you have a number of children in your house, get them all together, read a book to them and then talk about the book. Doing this is going to help in their development and will give them a huge step forward when it comes to high school.

Learning to analyse a book and express what you think are the messages of the book will help your children immensely when they go to school. In High School today across the western world, one of the tasks in their English classes they are going to be expected to read a book and then write an essay about the messages they have found in the book and the sooner they learn these skills, the more effective they will be in their classes.

For younger children you might read a Dr Seuss book and then look at the pictures with them. Talk to your children about the pictures. For example if you are reading a book about hats and there is a hat on the ground, talk about what might be under the hat. Get the children to tell you the colour of the hat.

In essence it doe not matter whether you read a book, watch a video or play a computer game, to gain some educational value and to get your children thinking, simply talk about what they have seen or read. Get them to talk about the messages that may have been in the book or video and when it comes to computer games, talk to them in terms of strategy and how they can do better next time. Our children have an innate want to learn and the more we can foster that attitude the more your children will grow and learn and play an important role in society.

Strategy 4 - Make Meditation Into A Game

Meditation … I know, I saw you stop and think then. Meditation for kids, you have got to be kidding. No! If you can teach children how to meditate at a young age you will find that they will continue it as they get older. It has also been shown that children who know how to meditate will be much calmer and in control of their emotions. Further to this, it has been shown that adults who meditate over longer periods have less coronary disease. I watched a research documentary a few years ago where they took ten people who had never meditated and had incredibly high blood pressure and taught them to meditate. They found over a 6 month period those people were able to control their blood pressure more effectively. In fact when they began to meditate for a period of 20 minutes their blood pressure dropped dramatically.

Look the bottom line is this, Buddhist monks have been meditating as part of their religion for thousands of years and it amazes me to this day how many monks live to an age over 100 years so all I can say is there is definitely something in this. For the past 10 years I have used meditation to help control my stress levels and I feel much better for it.

Meditation for children must be fun and simple. The techniques for children never involve mantras or anything along those lines, they should simply teach the children how to relax and to focus on their inner self. There are lots of internet sites available on teaching children to meditate but one thing you must consider, be very cautious of the type of music you use for meditation. I recommend Baroque Meditation music that has 60 beats a minute as this is the heart rate we are supposed to have. Research has shown that baroque meditation music at 60 beats a minute actually promotes the release of alpha waves from both our left and right sides of our brains. These alpha waves help bring about a sense of calm and can also help in promoting creativity, learning and calmness.

Look the bottom line is this, if you want to decrease the stress in your house on those rainy days, then the best way is to occupy your children. By using these four strategies I have outlined, you are also helping your children in their development and as a parent that should always be the most important thing you need to consider. Your children are you future and the future of this world, by helping in their development, let us hope they will contribute to a much more safer world.

To finish off, I really want to take a moment to reiterate the Four Strategies once again:

Strategy 1 - Play Group Games
Strategy 2 - Have a Bake Off
Strategy 3 - Discuss A Book, Video or Computer Game Together
Strategy 4 - Make Meditation Into A Game

About the Author: Chris has a Six Step Meditation Program called Relaxation Techniques for Stress Management, Baroque Meditation Music - Meditation Music and Seven Ways of Reducing Stress

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