CuddleBug is the second in our line of soft creatures that teach kids how to regulate their own emotions when they are upset.
CuddleBug is a 3x4x2″ plush zippered pouch that looks like a bug. Inside your child will find four wooden “comfort coins” that they can use to:
1) calm themselves down when they are overstimulated, angry or upset
2) help them feel safe and secure when they are afraid
3) let them feel loved when they are alone or lonely, and
4) re-establish their sense of worth when they are embarrassed or ashamed.
The four coins are circular affirmations that link a child’s feelings to the virtues they already carry inside themselves:
I am calm because I feel calm because I am calm…. I feel brave because I am brave…. I feel loved because I am loved…. I feel wonderful because I am wonderful….
Sound helpful? It is. And it is incredibly easy. It comes with two instruction sheets – one for your child that explains how to use it, and another for you that explains the science behind the system.
Here’s what the kid’s instructions say:
HI! I’m a CuddleBug!
I love to cuddle, and I’m a great listener – especially when you are having a bad day. You know, everyone gets upset once in a while, but I have a special trick that can help you feel better. Here’s how it works:
First, take a deep breath, then hold me up to your cheek and feel how soft I am. Now choose one of the coins inside me. Rub it with your thumb as you say the special words on it over and over to yourself. Keep it up until you feel better. It works!
For the parents, there is a longer parent’s insert that explains the science behind the process (click on the “Parent’s Insert” tab to read it). This makes it an educational gift for parents as well as their children.
The CuddleBug has a short chain attached to the zipper, so it can be attached to a backpack or purse and go anywhere your kid goes.
Designed for kids four and up. It might appeal to boys more than our Cuddlebunny or Cuddlebear. Black and red are the colors of Spiderman. Scroll through the pictures to see all of our Comfort Creatures. If you or your child is too “sophisticated” for a Comfort Creature, we also have a set of seven coins for adult and youth that come in a pouch without a creature.
Educators can call for wholesale pricing on bulk orders.
One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the ability to self-regulate their emotions – that is, to calm themselves when they get upset, give themselves confidence when they are afraid, comfort themselves when they feel sad or lonely, and encourage themselves when they make a mistake or feel ashamed.
These are skills that last a lifetime and make every challenge easier to handle.
Parents can help by listening to their children and helping them find the vocabulary to describe their feelings. Hugs and words of assurance go a long way too. But ultimately, children are in charge of their own feelings. We can give them tools, but we can’t feel for them.
These comfort coins are just that – tools that children of any age can use to help identify their feelings and then work their way through them. They tap into three proven techniques for helping people focus and release negative emotional energy: repetitive physical movement, positive verbal affirmations, and comforting tactile stimulation.
If you’ve ever seen an upset child rock back and forth, tap their foot or bounce up and down, you’ve seen repetitive movement in action. We do it unconsciously to release the physical energy generated by our emotional state. Rubbing the comfort coin, like rubbing a worry stone, taps that natural process.
If you’ve ever meditated, said a rosary, or tried an affirmation, then you may know that there is a lot of research on the power of repeating calming phrases to help bring the heart rate down and focus the mind on positive thoughts. Saying the short positive phrases on the comfort coins achieves this calming effect without adding any religious overtones to the process. The virtues named on the coins are universal and positive.
If you’ve ever seen a child hug a teddy bear or favorite blanket when upset, then you will not be surprised to learn that research has shown that people are more sensitive to tactile stimulation when they are sad than when they are happy. This is why we added the Cuddlebunny to the comfort coins. Holding the soft fluff ball against their cheek and taking a deep breath will set the stage for the rest of the process.
When you first give your child their Cuddlebunny, explain to them how to use it. Encourage them to give it a name, then have them show you how they can hold it carefully, breathe deeply, and say the affirmations. Small children will need you to read the words on the coins to them. Note that the affirmations are circular. “I feel calm because I am calm because I feel calm…” This helps children understand the link between how they feel and the virtues they embody.
To start them off and get them into the habit of using their Cuddlebunny, you can suggest that they use the Cuddlebunny and coins for 5-10 minutes before they go to bed at night. All of the affirmations are perfectly appropriate for a bedtime ritual.
Once they are in the habit, you can encourage your children to carry the Cuddlebunny and coins with them wherever they go. They can be easily clipped to a backpack or belt loop. Then when something upsets them, they will be ready to start the calming process.
In many situations, your child will know exactly which of the coins they need to use. If they aren’t sure what they are feeling, encourage them to start with the “calm” coin until they are centered enough to know if one of the other coins is a better fit.