Beyond Black Friday…Refreshing Gifts for the Whole Family

Today is Cyber-Monday.  Apparently, the internet is loaded with amazing deals for the consumer that are available today only!  I can just imagine all those cyber signals pushing and shoving through space to be the very first in line to make their purchase.

I don’t like crowds well enough to participate in Black Friday, but I’m always amazed by the intensity and stress involved, at least for those who get highlighted on the news!

Since we are in the gift-giving season, I thought I’d take the next few weeks to share some gifts for the whole family that won’t break the bank or break your neck in crazed crowds!  In fact, these gifts enhance family life and learning!

Gift #1:  De-Stress

The world has become a pressure cooker with the burden of stress growing daily.  Your mind and emotions are bombarded daily with information that reinforces a perception of just how stressed you should feel.  Science has shown that our health can pay a serious price for our stress.  So can your child’s learning! So, what should you do?

Recent scientific research has proven that you can learn not only to manage your stress, but even to prevent much of it before it happens.

Here is a simple technique to Freeze Frame and change our stress patterns:

  1. Take a time out so that you can temporarily disengage from your thoughts and feelings – especially stressful ones.
  1. Shift your focus to the area around your heart.  Breathe in slowly through your nose and imagine the breath around your heart.  Breathe out through your mouth and imagine the exhale flowing out through your solar plexus (the “pit of your stomach”).  Breath this way several times.
  1. Make a sincere effort to activate a positive feeling.  This can be a genuine feeling of appreciation or care for someone or something in your life.
  1. Ask yourself what would be an efficient, effective attitude or action that would balance and de-stress your system.
  1. Quietly sense any change in perception or feeling and sustain it as long as you can.


This technique, developed by the Heartmath organization ( is used widely by children and adults and has been a simple and tremendous tool for our students.

Having a learning or attention challenge can be very stressful as students try so hard, yet continually fail to meet the expectations of themselves and others.  The heart-breathing technique can help them shift their feelings of frustration, discouragement, and overwhelm, opening up the mental resources they need to move forward with calm, positive focus.

Do you, your child, or someone you know experience learning or attention challenges?  If so, here is a gift for you.  Come by one of our centers in the month of December and we will give you a copy of Jill Stowell’s book: At Wit’s End, A Parents Guide to Ending the Struggle, Tears and Turmoil of Learning Disabilities


Go to for other parent/teacher resources.


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