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Adult Sensory Regulation Ideas

Research tells us that a huge part of our goal of having emotionally supportive relationships with our kids is dependent on one large factor: a regulated grown-up who is able to respond to their needs intentionally.

It is only natural to become triggered by our children's behaviors. Just last week, my daughters were going through a spitting in my face phase when feeling frustrated. Fun fact...it is incredibly difficult to stay entirely calm when someone's spit is spraying all over your face. It was a natural and human response for my central nervous system to feel activated and elevated during those interactions.

Mindfulness is inserting time between the behavior and our response...and I am constantly working on that. I don't always get it right. But what I do know is that my own sensory needs play a major factor into how easily (or not) I can access the tools I need when I need them. The tools I need to model self-regulation and practice coregulation.

Here are some ideas of things you can do to help give yourself the sensory input you might need (both when you're with your kids and when you're not). And remember, everyone's sensory preferences look totally different. For me, it's always a dance party and getting outside.

  • Have a dance party
  • Blanket burrito rolls
  • Mountain climber flips
  • Yoga poses
  • Chores around the house
  • Stand with your bare feet in the grass

And if you're looking for additional resources for ways to get your regulation while spending time outdoors AND have your kiddos engaged in some fun outdoor learning activities that are low prep, check out this list of 65 best outdoor activities for kids from Beth Ann at Low Lift Fun, where she writes about easy ideas for parenting and play.