Have you started using I Love You Rituals at home yet? Or perhaps come up with your own? The reason we like to incorporate I Love You Rituals in class and encourage you to use them regularly at home is that doing so gives you and your child a shot of JOY JUICE.
What is Joy Juice? It is a hormonal cocktail that your body releases and bathes your brain in when you engage in a moment of connection with a loved one. It is comprised of dopamine, endorphins, and other natural hormones. It can have an equivalent effect on a child’s brain as a dose of Ritalin. But completely natural! And you have access to it ANY TIME YOU WANT.
Dr. Becky Baily of Conscious Discipline teaches “Joy Juice is a combination of positive brain chemicals that create joyful feelings literally wiring the brain for impulse control and willingness.”
Looking to add more joy to your family’s life and help transform challenging behavior? Add some Joy Juice!
The key elements to accessing your and your child’s body’s Joy Juice production and distribution facility are:
- Eye contact: Getting down on your child’s level, looking them in the eye, and using their name, is essential to building the connection needed for the release of these hormones.
- Touch: Placing your hand on your child’s shoulder or head, a gentle tickle, or a hug, signals to the child that they are safe. It readies them for connection and cooperation.
- Presence: Being fully present in the moment and with your child indicates empathy and comfort. It’s a way of signaling to them that they matter to you and that you are a safe place for them.
- Playfulness: A playful situation gives the brain a little break and primes it for more learning. A playful game can put us in a state called “relaxed alertness” which is optimal for learning and readiness.
The connections we build with others on the outside builds neural connections on the inside and give us this Joy Juice.
So when you’re in a challenging moment with your child, get down on their level, place your hand on their shoulder, use their name and say “Find my eyes.” Then be present and playful with them. It only takes a moment to connect, prime the brain, and promote connection and cooperation.
Here’s to more JOY!