She reappeared downstairs a few minutes later, and she wasn’t stomping or screaming. She was smiling! I must have looked puzzled at her abrupt change in mood, because she offered an explanation.
“I went upstairs and did The Star,” she said.
“It’s a breathing technique. I did The Star and I feel better now. “
My daughter got angry, went to a safe place, calmed herself down with mindful breathing and came back ready to start over. And I had nothing to do with any of it. I was stunned.
After seeing the benefit of this program in my own home, my daughter’s self-regulation, I was really interested. A recent morning after dropping her off, I heard that students in preschool through first-grade would be practicing their emotional skills during an assembly – so I stuck around to watch.
Then Ms. Robinson called on students and teachers who wanted to give someone a shout-out. A pre-K-4 boy got it rolling by giving himself a shout-out for not being afraid of dragons. My daughter got a shout-out for being a good friend, and a teacher gave one to another for being there for her during a difficult time. I’ve never been to a school assembly that felt so warm.
After positive vibes were sent, the children called up on stage lead the group in practicing the four breathing techniques: S.T.A.R., Balloon, Pretzel and Drain. The kids in the audience enthusiastically followed along.