Summer is here.  The kids are out of school and home with what seems like more energy than they ever had before, right?  I've seen so many posts about parents who are slightly overwhelmed.  Don't get me wrong, we are all happy to have our children with us, but it's also a little daunting to try and come up with activities to keep our kids occupied and get work done!  Don't even get me started on the fighting that occurs in families with multiple children.  Sometimes we want to pull our hair out!  When we get to that point, we need to ground ourselves and calm down.  We may not have time to count to 10, but we do have time to count backwards from 5 while doing the following: 

  • Notice 5 things around you.  Any 5 items will do -- toys on the floor, blankets turned into forts, any 5 items. 
  • Listen for 4 sounds....the ice maker, laughing, crying, dog barking, cars driving past.
  • Feel 3 items.  If you can find any 3 textures around you, just run your hands across them.
  • Smell any 2 items.  This may mean a dirty diaper or spilled milk from 2 days ago, but it could also mean opening the coffee tin or a secret box of chocolates.
  • Finally, taste one item.  If you did just open the coffee in the last step, why not make a new cup?  If you opened the box of chocolates hidden somewhere in your home, what a fantastic opportunity to finish our grounding exercise by indulging in a very tasty piece.

Though this isn't going to magically clean up the house or do the laundry, it will bring us back down to earth and give us the strength we need to make it through lunch until we need to pack up the kids in order to head to Target for more secret chocolates...

Karen Becker is an author, speaker and personal growth coach.  She has a Master's Degree in Counseling and applies these skills when coaching clients.  She has years of experience coaching clients in all areas of life: parenting, co-parenting after divorce and in personal growth/wellness.  She can be reached at

Kaern Becker, MA Life Coach