}

Calming Lavender Scented Bubble Recipe

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Blowing bubbles is a great strategy to teach kids as a calming technique. It helps to slow down breathing and bring their bodies back into a state of relaxation. It’s a technique I use often with two of my girls, particularly in the summer. There are also many sensory benefits to blowing bubbles. One day, it occurred to me that I could combine the calming benefits and sensory benefits to an even greater extent if I made lavender scented bubbles for them to use.

These lavender scented bubbles provide a wonderful calming technique for kids.This lavender scented bubble recipe is so easy to make and the bubbles it creates are strong and plentiful. I used lavender essential oil to create the scent because I wanted it to actually have a calming effect.

Two neighbourhood friends came over to test out the new bubbles with us and our new kitten was super curious about them too, making for some great pictures!

Lavender Scented Bubble Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup unscented, clear dish soap
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3-5 drops lavender essential oil
  • optional: 3 drops of food colouring

Directions:

Mix together the water, dish soap and corn syrup. Once it is well combined, add the drops of essential oil and food colouring and mix in. Pour the bubble mixture into a container, add a bubble wand and start making bubbles!

We used a glass mason jar for our bubble mixture, but later in the day when we had younger kids visiting, I transferred it into a plastic container.

If you don’t have a bubble wand handy, you can create a loop at one end of a pipe cleaner and use that for a bubble wand. With this bubble solution, my daughter also was able to blow bubble using her hand held in a loose fist and by using mesh cording.

As you can see, these lavender scented bubbles are not only calming, they also make some pretty large bubbles that last and last! The kids had such a good time playing with them.

I think this bubble solution would keep well in an airtight container, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you first-hand because this recipe was so popular that in two days at our house, it was all used up!

You may also be interested in these other sensory activities we have done that use the calming effects of lavender:

Calming Lavender Sensory BinLavender Sensory Bin

Lavender Scented Playdough

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The Coolest Slime Recipes

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Slime has been gaining in popularity as parents and kids discover its play and sensory possibilities. If you are getting bored with the usual slime ideas, these cool slime recipes are sure to bring a new level of excitement to your slime play!

If you are getting bored with the usual slime ideas, these cool slime recipes are sure to bring a new level of excitement to your slime play!The Coolest Slime Recipes

Buildable Rock Slime from Left Brain, Craft Brain (pictured)

Unicorn Poop Slime from Schooling a Monkey

Holiday Jingle Bell Slime from The Chaos and the Clutter

Egg Slime from The Pinterested Parent

Bubble Bath Slime from Teaching Mama

Chocolate Milk Slime from The Chaos and the Clutter

Geology Gemstone Slime from STEAM Powered Family (pictured)

Bubble Slime from Sugar, Spice and Glitter (pictured)

Fluffy Oobleck Slime from Fantastic Fun and Learning (pictured)

Unicorn Slime by My Frugal Adventures (pictured)

Rainbow Slime by Schooling a Monkey (pictured)

If you are getting bored with the usual slime ideas, these cool slime recipes are sure to bring a new level of excitement to your slime play!

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Edible Starburst Slime by Teach Beside Me (pictured)

Beauty and the Beast Slime from As the Bunny Hops (pictured)

Mermaid Slime by The Nerd’s Wife (pictured)

Toothpaste Orbeez Slime from Savvy Naturalista (pictured, and yes, it’s actually made with toothpaste!)

Fluffy Sand Slime from Mom Dot

Erupting Slime by STEAM Powered Family

Fake Snot Edible Slime by Little Bins for Little Hands (yep, you read that right – it’s edible snot slime!)

Avalanche Slime from Mom Luck

Heat Sensitive Colour Changing Slime from Left Brain, Craft Brain

You may also want to check out these Unique Slime Recipes.

Secondary Trauma in Adoptive Moms

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This is a heavy topic and one that I’ve put off writing about for far too long. I know there are other mommas like me out there. I know because they email me and private message me and the desperation is evident in their words.

I wanted to share some information about secondary trauma and provide a few suggestions to help combat it before I share a bit about my personal story of living with it.

Secondary Trauma in Adoptive Parents - symptoms, treatment and my personal experience with itSecondary trauma, which is also sometimes referred to as vicarious trauma, can affect therapists, first responders and primary caregivers. By bearing witness to the trauma of others, you can take some of that trauma on for yourself. You can imagine that in adoptive parents whose children have endured abuse, neglect, abandonment, or unspeakable evils prior to coming to them, that trauma can become something they themselves can begin to take on.

The DSM states that trauma can affect those who survive a traumatic event, those who witness a traumatic event or those who hear of a traumatic event that affected someone of significance to them. It then stands to reason that parents who hear of their adopted child’s past trauma would be at risk of developing secondary trauma.

Some of the signs of secondary trauma include:

-having difficulty talking about your feelings
-feeling diminished joy towards things you once enjoyed
-feeling trapped
-having a limited range of emotion but anger and irritation always being present
-having an exaggerated startle response
-intrusive thoughts of your child’s history
-nightmares
-feelings of hopelessness
-trouble sleeping
-worrying
-exhaustion
-apathy
-problems with intimacy
-feeling withdrawn and isolated
-feeling impatient
-questioning your worldview
-feeling detached
-low self-image
-perfectionism

There are some strategies that can help combat symptoms of secondary trauma. Exercise that increases your heart rate for at least 12 minutes a day, five days a week, can decrease symptoms. Focusing on your breathing and using mindfulness have also been shown to help. For mindfulness, you can use yoga, a mindfulness app on your phone, gratitude, prayer, or meditation. Finding a support group of others who have walked a similar road can be therapeutic. Individual or family counselling may also be helpful.

For myself, I find that yoga is helpful once I am actually in the class, but rarely make the time for it. I do regularly use a combination of prayer and purposeful gratitude.

Hearing about your child’s past trauma can trigger your own trauma history which is also something to be aware of. If you find that your symptoms are worsening or significantly interfering with your life, seek the help of a licensed therapist.

One further note regarding trauma: secondary trauma can occur from hearing about your child’s past trauma but, as a foster or adoptive parent, you can also be at risk of developing full PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). This can happen as a result of your child’s behaviours, for instance if you are attacked or placed at risk. PTSD can also occur if your spouse or other children are harmed or if behaviours occur that require legal intervention. If you suspect you may be suffering from PTSD, seek help from a medical professional or licensed therapist.

My own story of secondary trauma and PTSD:

I didn’t realize for a long time that I was suffering from secondary trauma. It wasn’t something that was talked about in the adoptive community. I knew that I was struggling. Certain aspects what some of my kids had gone through before they came to me haunted me. While it’s normal to feel sympathy for someone else’s suffering, particularly someone you love, there is a point where it can become unhealthy and I had reached that point. I was taking on their suffering. My secondary trauma left me feeling weak and run down and I believe that it put me at greater risk for PTSD.

I strive to keep my children’s privacy, so I won’t publicly go into details of what triggered my PTSD, but I want to share with other adoptive moms (and dads) that it is so important to take care of your own mental health. Being purposeful about practising self-care is a must.I am now in therapy for my secondary trauma and PTSD and have found tremendous healing with the use of EMDR. It feels great to be myself again!

If you suspect that you may be suffering from secondary trauma or PTSD, I urge you to look into therapy and practising self-care. It can make a world of difference.

Helping a Child Through TraumaHelping a Child Through TraumaRecognizing the Signs of Reactive Attachment DisorderRecognizing the Signs of Reactive Attachment Disorder

Books for Connected Parenting

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What is connected parenting? While connected parenting can certainly be used with any child, the term is most commonly used to describe a type of parenting adopted children who may have experienced early childhood trauma. It looks different than other parenting methods in that it focuses on connection before correction. It takes into account the child’s past hurts and tries to facilitate healing through the parent-child relationship.Connected parenting is also sometimes referred to as therapeutic parenting. If you are new to this parenting style, these books can serve as your guide.

Books for Connected Parenting

Connected parenting is also sometimes referred to as therapeutic parenting. If you are new to this parenting style, these books can serve as your guide. I would recommend starting with The Whole-Brain Child and The Connected Child.

The Whole-Brain Child will give you a better understand of the “why” behind your child’s behaviours. It will also help you understand how your own brain works and give you a better sense of why you react the way you do to certain triggers which can be immensely helpful in parenting children who’ve experienced trauma.

The Connected Child is written by the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, one of the founders of  The Institute of Child Development at TCU. I am privileged to have been able to speak several times. She truly was such an incredible woman who pioneered much of the research on attachment and trauma in children.


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Helping a Child Through TraumaHelping a Child Through Trauma

Recognizing the Signs of Reactive Attachment DisorderRecognizing the Signs of Reactive Attachment Disorder