Are you looking for more ways to help your child manage big feelings? Then check out these four calming strategies for kids.
A few weeks ago, our baby turned one. I had a teary-eyed moment on the couch. My four-year-old came up to me and said,
“Mama, when you are sad, just breath like this” and he modeled taking deep, calming breaths. Mindblown.
This is a child who has big feelings. They are loud feelings. They are anything but subtle.
And yet, he has learned the power of deep breathing so well, he was coaching me.
You’re here because your child needs more tools to calm down. So read on and you’ll find what you need about calming strategies for kids.
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What can I say instead of calm down to my child?
You know when you’re upset.
You hate it when someone says, “Just calm down,” or “It’s not that big of a deal.”
It feels invalidating of your experience. So you are right!
There are better things to say than, “Calm down.”
You can say:
- It’s normal to feel this way.
- You’re feeling sad.
- This is a big feeling.
- Do you want to think about your happy place?
- Let’s try rainbow breathing.
- Let’s draw a picture.
Read on and you’ll find how to use these phrases and strategies with your child.
Calm Down Strategies in a PDF
Having calming strategies for kids available at your fingertips is so important. So grab these free calm down strategies in a pdf.
It has 10 different strategies for your child. The calm down strategies pdf also has pictures. This is helpful for both readers and non-readers.
Our brains store images much better than spoken language. So seeing a picture of the strategy is more effective than just being told with words.
What are some calming strategies for kids?
Calming strategies for kids are easy to access tools that children can use before they get too upset. They are most effective when they are used in the upset phase, prior to the out-of-control phase.
While there are 10 calming strategies for kids on the calm down pdf, here’s a more in-depth explanation of how you can implement 4 strategies
1. Talk to someone
- Help your child find and name their emotions on a feeling chart.
- Then give them the language, “You feel sad right now. You’re thinking about how you miss Grandma.”
- Use empathy: “It’s really hard because you love Grandma so much.”
2. Take a deep breath
3. Think about a happy spot
4. Draw a picture
How do I teach my child to calm down?
Now that you know about the strategies, how do you really use them to teach your child to calm down?
How do you calm a tantruming child?
Every parent wants to know how to teach their child to calm down during a tantrum or meltdown. There are two things to understand about calming a child in a tantrum:
The difference between a tantrum and a meltdown
A tantrum is when a child is upset they can’t get their way. A meltdown is when the child is overwhelmed by emotions or the sensory experience.
You’ll know it’s a tantrum if you give in and your child immediately calms.
While neurodiverse children are more prone to meltdowns, neurotypical children can struggle with big feelings, too.
Some children are highly sensitive; experts estimate approximately 20% of the population is more sensitive to feelings, sensations, and experiences.
During a tantrum, try empathy
It’s truly a tantrum when you’ve said no or created a boundary. Here’s what you can do:
- Use empathy without giving in
- Try a strategy that you’ve worked on
- Re-evaluate after the tantrum when everyone is calm
But teaching your child to calm down happens prior to the tantrum or emotional meltdown to be effective.
When my four-year-old coached me to take deep breaths through my own sadness, he showed the power of calming strategies for kids.
He has found them to be so effective, he was empowered to coach me, the person who had coached him.
So give it a try, and commit to experimenting with different strategies.
Just remember, while you want to end the tantrum in Target, your ultimate goal is to raise to an emotionally healthy child who grows into a healthy adult. These calming strategies for kids are an excellent foundation.