Outside of my parenting and blogging life I am also an educator who is super passionate about social emotional wellness in children and adults. Take a moment to think, you adults out there reading this. When you were growing up, who taught you about your emotions? Who in your life, whether you parents, teachers or other important people in your life, discussed emotions and their importance? To this day I meet grown ups who have trouble expressing their feelings in a productive way and talking about how those emotions impact their choices or ability to cope. Every feeling, even anger, frustration, depression or sadness, is important and valued. In fact, understanding various emotions better can allow you to use them to help you. Ever see the movie Inside Out?
Our sweet ones with T1D go through a series of emotions as they work to manage their own wellness. We require a lot our children who are living with this condition. Talking about how they’re feeling and validating those emotions is so important. In comes glitter jars! I’m obsessed with these gems. A glitter jar is like your mind. Stay with me here. As you go through your day, handling challenges and important things that pop up your mind becomes filled and even clouded with this information. You may not notice it, but clearing your mind to a peaceful place can be extremely challenging. After you shake a glitter jar the glitter is suspended throughout the jar, much like the thoughts in you mind. However, put that glitter jar down and give it just a little bit of time and the glitter clears, falling to the bottom and revealing clear liquid.
A gets the worst jitters when it’s time to do a site change on her pump or replace her Dexcom sensor. I can see her building up the whole experience in her mind and expecting the worst in terms of the discomfort involved and the needles. She’ll say to me, “Mom, I’m nervous! Look, I’m sweating!” It takes a great deal of patience and smooth talking to ease her down to get the changes done. I’ve decided to introduce her to glitter jars to help her focus on clearing those thoughts. My glitter jars take about 2 minutes for the glitter to clear to the bottom after shaking it. That two minutes will allow Anabel the time to identify the emotions she is feeling and try to clear those thoughts and feelings while watching the glitter settle in the jar. This in turn will support her in her own social emotional wellness during these moments. At least, that’s my hope.
Making glitter jars is super easy. Easier than you might think. You’ll need:
- mason jars
- various colors and sizes of glitter
- glitter glue
- hot water
- a whisk
- plastic or class bowl
Heat the water and glitter glue (80% water, 20% glitter) stirring until fully mixed. Add the glitter of your choice (the more glitter and glue the longer it will take for the glitter to settle after shaking the jar. There are more ways to make a glitter jars (also called calm down jars at preschoolinspirations.com).