Be a social butterfly...

My sister Jen has 3 young children.  Elisa, her oldest and my God-daughter has some behavioural challenges, but is the sweetest, kindest child you will ever meet.  Potentially she has ADHD, but these things can take many years to properly diagnose.   I’m going to take this opportunity to say right now that anyone reading this who feels that ADHD and similar problems are merely an excuse for naughty children or inadequate parenting, you can leave this site right now and take this face with you :-/

I have first hand experience of ADHD having helped care for a younger sibling who was diagnosed when she was just six.    Parents of children with behavioural difficulties deserve our respect and support, not our judgement.  Rant over lol.

Anyway, Jen and her family are about to move house.  Elisa does not like change :-S  They have all sorts of methods to help her to understand and cope with changes in her little World, but this will be her first house move ever and I wonder how she will react.  Elisa loves to be a good girl, she just needs the tools to do so.  I know that her parents will already be putting in place measures to help her handle the upheaval, but I came across this little idea on Pinterest that I hope will help.  It’s called lots of thing, a meditation jar, a mind jar, a time-out jar….I think it’s best described as a Calm Down Jar.

The idea is that instead of fighting with a tantrum, a bad mood or a bout of frustration; your child is distracted by the beautiful sparkly water, calmed by the dancing light and giving time to think.

You can come up with all kinds of narratives to go alongside this jar:

Perhaps the glitter is feeling out of sorts the way that your child is and maybe by the time the glitter calms down and settles, your child will find themself magically settled?  Maybe our child thrives on responsibility, in which case they could be put in charge of ‘looking after’ the jar while the gliter settles (don’t let anybody bump it!)?  Whatever works for you.  An older child could simply use the jar like an egg timer.

I suspect that after a little while Elisa might lose interest in the glitter so I added a single gold star to the jar.  I thought that Jen could ask her to keep an eye out for the star or even count how many times she sees it.

You will Need:

A tightly fitting jar (I managed to find a plastic one.  If you use a glass jar, it goes without saying that I wouldn’t suggest handing it to a child mid-tantrum!

Glitter paint


A little almond or sunflower oil.


  • Clean your jar removing all labels
  • Put a couple of tablespoons of glitter paint/glue into the jar
  • Add a tablespoon of oil
  • Add as much glitter as you like!
  • Top up with water
  • Fasten the jar tightly and shake!
I also made one for Beth, despite the fact that in the whole ten years and four months that I have been her mother, she has only been in ‘time out’ twice!  She still has moments of frustration, bad moods and ‘stuff’ that she needs to think about.
Sometimes even older children may like a little calm down/reflective time with a swirly whirly glitter jar.  Sometimes teenagers will……..sometimes even grown ups!!!!
I don’t know yet whether the Calm Down Jar will be a useful tool for Elisa, I hope it will.  I also really hope it doesn’t leak and spill blue water all over the carpet as I think that would upset Elisa almost as much as it would her Mother :-S
Love Rachel



Be a social butterfly...