One of the most helpful things we can do as parents is to support our children in exploring different calm down strategies that help our child notice, understand and regulate their emotions.
Practices such as deep breathing exercises, talking about emotions and family meditation are great strategies to help with emotional regulation. These practices should be done regularly and when the child is calm. Over time the child will begin to understand that they can use these tools to help manage their emotions in times of stress.
Emotional regulation is a skill the child and parent need to practice a lot and try many different techniques until the child becomes confident at coping with their own emotions. Taking a children’s yoga class is another great option to help teach our children to become more aware of their thoughts and feelings. Yoga can help the child through breathwork and mindfulness to regulate their emotions. Check out our schedule for all options for Children.
There are times however that we need a quick fix to calm our children, when the child is in the middle of a meltdown and refuses to listen. Have a look at some suggestions for quick ways to calm down below. Our information has been sourced from the links below. Go check out these websites for lots more suggestions. Listed below are our favourites. Happy reading.
Quick Ways to Calm Down
1. Take a deep breath
Here are some fun things to use to teach our children how to breath deep:
Things to use:
Deep breathing using shapes
Things to say:
Breathe IN like you are smelling a flower,
Breathe OUT like you are blowing out birthday candles
Arms up and breathe IN,
Arms down and breathe OUT
Pretend your belly is a balloon.
Breathe IN and make the balloon bigger,
then breathe OUT and make the balloon shrink.
2. Squeeze Something
3. Get a Cold Drink of Water
4. Grounding Technique: 54321 Coping Skill
How to do it:
This technique will take your child through their five senses to help remind them of the present. This is a calming technique that can help them through tough or stressful situations.
Take a deep belly breath to begin.
5 - LOOK: Look around for 5 things that you can see, and say them out loud. For example, you could say, I see the computer, I see the cup, I see the picture frame.
4 - FEEL: Pay attention to your body and think of 4 things that you can feel, and say them out loud. For example, you could say, I feel my feet warm in my socks, I feel the hair on the back of my neck, or I feel the pillow I am sitting on.
3 - LISTEN: Listen for 3 sounds. It could be the sound of traffic outside, the sound of typing or the sound of your tummy rumbling. Say the three things out loud.
2 - SMELL: Say two things you can smell. If you’re allowed to, it’s okay to move to another spot and sniff something. If you can’t smell anything at the moment or you can’t move, then name your 2 favorite smells.
1 - TASTE: Say one thing you can taste. It may be the toothpaste from brushing your teeth, or a mint from after lunch. If you can’t taste anything, then say your favorite thing to taste.
Take another deep belly breath to end.
5.Give yourself a hug – SQUEEZE TIGHT
6. Use Understanding and Supportive Language
Use the following phrases as a way to support your child, let them know that you’re going to support them and help them in any way that you can.
“I’m here for you”
“Talk to me and tell me what’s going on”
“How can I help?”
“Together, we can work on this. We’re a great team”
“I love you”
“Do you want a hug?”
7. Use Visuals
When a child is stressed and anxious, it’s harder to read and take in information. Visuals are easier.
Keep a set of calming cue cards, you can make your own.
Take several index cards or small pieces of cardstock
On each one, write or draw one coping skill
Hole punch the cards and place them on a keyring (to make them extra sturdy, you can laminate them)
Put them into the coping skills toolbox for easy access
Using visuals is a powerful way to help kids. When kids are overwhelmed, sometimes it’s hard for them to figure out what to do. By having cue cards, your child can have a visual reminder of what calms and relaxes them.
We hope these coping techniques were helpful. Check out the links above for more information and our website for children’s yoga classes.
Have a great week.