When the kids get hurt, there is an almost automatic response or request for an immediate fix and a band-aid is usually one of the first things they request. Now, I'm am not heartless or cruel, I just never liked the waste of willy-nilly using up band-aids. So, instead we breathe.
My kiddos are getting bigger (they are 6, 9 and 10). But, when the kids were really little it started out as a hug for comfort, a wipe of the tears and me breathing just to help stabilize the frenzy. This evolved into encouraging the kids to breathe, which in turn evolved into encouraging them to blow. Blowing air out is something they seem to focus on a little better and if you blow all of your air out, you have to breathe in, so it gets us where we need to be. Now, we are to the point where you can give one of the kids a hug, take a deep breath and quite quickly they usually begin to harmonize their breath and calm down.
This is yoga breathing at work. When we slow down and deepen our breathe, our body is able to relax and move away from knee-jerk reactions. We can really check in and respond, not react.
In the spirit of balance, it should be noted that willy-nilly has it's place too. One birthday, my daughter received a case full of fun items; crayons, stickers, treats and BAND-AIDS. She had a free-for-all that no hug or ice pack could compete with.