We’ve all been there. Your child is inconsolable and having a fit. Perhaps your child is prone to anxiety, or maybe they are just having an off-day. Whether it happens in public or at your home, following these calming techniques can help to turn that frown upside down, and get your child back to their selves.
- Pick the flowers, smell the flowers, blow out the birthday candles.
This breathing exercise is perfect for young children. Ask them to imagine and mime they are picking flowers, this keeps them occupied and helps regulate their breathing. Then, have them smell the flowers with an exaggerated breath in through their noses. Finally, tell them to pretend they are blowing out birthday candles. Through this exercise, they are calming themselves down without realizing exactly what they’re doing. By regulating their breathing through this exercise, they will calm themselves quickly.
- Sing their favorite song
Does your child have a favorite Sing-a-long, or Disney movie? Maybe there’s a song they never stop singing? For a quick fix: break into song! Even though your child is upset, the sound of their favorite song is hard to resist. You should find them singing along right with you. Sure, you may look a bit silly, but sometimes being silly is the best thing for an upset child.
- Hands Out!
Hold out your hand in front of your child. Have your child trace your fingers with their pointer finger. As they trace up, have them breathe in. As they trace down, have them breathe out. Slowing their breathing and focusing on the physical activity will calm them and regulate their breathing.
- Get grounded.
While breathing slowly, ask children to name three things they see around them. Then ask them to name three things they can smell. Thirdly, ask them to name three things they can hear. Finally, ask them to name three things they can touch and feel. As the child is breathing and naming items around them, they will feel more in touch with their surroundings, and begin to relax.
Calming an upset child is not always easy. But keeping these techniques in your back pocket can help to make the situation easier for everyone!