So, I have something in my bag of tricks I use for emergences. I'm not talking about a true emergency but sometimes my small ones can perceive an unkind word from a sibling or a skinned knee as such. I get it.
I couldn't think of anything better in these types of situations than a good, old-fashioned foot rub.
A while back when my kids were little I loved breastfeeding. If they were upset or tired or hurt I could put them on my breast and the the troubles of the world would melt away. It was my savior most days. Then when my last one decided to wean himself, I felt like my mama magic was gone.
My kids ask for a foot massages now and sometimes, when life is just too much, I bring them to a sunny, quiet spot in the house and rub their feet while we talk through the problem. Or sometimes I rub their feet, and legs and knees while they cry.
Usually, I like to be fair and rub everyone's feet. Sometimes, it's just a special thing for one of them. Sometimes it's before bed or after a long day. Sometimes it's mama that's lucky enough to get a foot massage too.
The other day, Eli asked for a foot massage not because there was anything particularly wrong but because he's come to like that connection between us. I like it too. It grounds me and makes me present. It also made me realize the other day that by asking me to rub his feet (and legs and knees!) that he is learning how to cope with life's stresses in a healthy way and in turn filling up his own bag of tricks. I love that.
I would love to hear what you have in your bag of tricks to sooth your kids when they're upset.