Christmas wish tree

The Christmas wish tree is made up of the dreams and wishes of children in shelters and substitute homes, sent to Santa Clause. To make sure that these do not just remain dreams, pick a gift from the Christmas tree and make a donation to the best of your ability.

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Christmas wish tree: Rocking chair – full-time assistant teacher

Every year the list of family wishes – gifts for the whole family – includes some rocking chairs. We found out what is so special about this piece of furniture to make it become such an in-demand good.

The answer was given by the teacher of Valgamaa Hoiupesa, Janeli, whose family includes six children with special needs. "The rocking chair calms our special children who, due to their special needs, are sometimes more anxious, and it creates good emotions throughout the year," says Janeli. “The smallest boy in our family is a speechless autistic boy and the change of mood is visible in his eyes when he gets to swing.”

Unfortunately, the weather is cold and it is not possible to spend as much time outside – one big and cosy indoor rocking chair could fulfil the role of outdoor swings perfectly. This is well known to the foster parents, because they had this piece of furniture in the past.

Rocking chair facilitates communication

The previous rocking chair arrived at the Hoiupesa family home together with an autistic boy, who was given it by the local government. However, it quickly became the most popular item in the house, bringing together children who had been there for a long time and those who had arrived recently. "We noticed that the newcomers made friends with others faster," Janeli recalls. In addition to a calming effect, the rocking chair also had a social role – children started to socialise and consider each other more, learn to wait their turn, tell the time and stick to a timetable. Smaller children were really happy that they got to swing with their foster parent.

The swing had a full-time job and only got to rest when the children were at school or in deep sleep. In the end, the chair could not bear the work pressure and broke. "When thinking about the family present, we found that there are enough toys but a rocking chair is the exact big and cosy thing that is missing from our time spent together," says Janeli.

The Kuressaare family centre Karsumm has the same wish this year. They also have children with special needs being raised in their family, for whom swinging has a calming effect, and is therefore their favourite activity. "The rocking chair gives our children the possibility to feel comfortable when their favourite music is playing, when the teacher is reading a fairy tale, when a fire is roaring in the fireplace or when they are just sitting in silence on the teacher's lap", says teacher Janne, painting a picture of how important a rocking chair could be for the children.

A weighted blanket brings a good night's sleep!

In order to calm their children, the foster home in Lilleküla, Tallinn wants weighted blankets instead. These blankets, which are several times heavier than usual, have been used in the area of medicine and therapy for many years for relieving stress and anxiety, and for facilitating better and deeper sleep.

Due to the weight, the human body starts to produce serotonin and melatonin – these substances create the feeling of contentment and facilitate falling asleep. In addition, the level of cortisol i.e. stress hormone reduces.

When choosing the blanket, it has to be kept in mind that its weight is 10% of the body weight or slightly heavier. The weighted blankets are needed in the foster home by smaller and older children, who are finding a place to hide in them. Children who feel anxious, get to calm down quicker, fall asleep and enjoy a longer and deeper sleep, which is very important for kids staying in foster homes.

A Christmas gift that brings joy and helps in developing oneself is the best – it sparks the drive for discovery, challenges one’s knowledge, or teaches a new skill. We can only give a child the best gift if we appreciate his/her wishes and understand the actual needs behind them.

Receiving gifts on Christmas Eve was the highlight of the year for many children, but life goes on 12 months a year and dreams don’t end with Christmas. Why not give a gift to these children every month and support their hobbies as a permanent donor? The support of a permanent donor is invaluable because children growing up in family and foster homes want to practise activities and have hobbies all year round, just like children growing up with their parents. As a permanent donor, you can give them certainty that they will be able to practise their favourite activities now and always.

Contribute € 3 per month and you give children the sense of success, new experiences or support young people in the acquisition of education that is vital for independent living. Give your small contribution to children living in substitute homes so that they have the same supportive and developing environment as the children being raised in your own family. Read more: www.heategevusfond.ee/joulupuu/pysiannetus.
 

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