As adults sometimes we find it difficult to navigate and manage stress. So it’s easy to imagine (at least I hope), that it must be the same for kids as well. My dad always sad a happy child is a stress-free child; and while I agree, I knew that I had to start taking steps to help my children manage stress in a healthy and positive way. By instilling these habits early on, this will help them learn to find healthy ways to cope as an adult (at least I hope).
Here are 30 ways to help your child calm down and cope with stress.
1. Blow Bubbles
Besides being outright fun, blowing bubbles helps to control breathing which is a common technique many parents use when they want their kids to calm down.
2. Count to 5
Is a simple form of meditation. Combined with breathing this can be an effective technique for allowing your child to reset.
3. Give (or get) hugs.
Hugs reduce blood pressure and stress. Grandma didn’t lie when she said a hug makes everything better.
5. Talk about it.
6. Play music.
8. Go for a walk.
Walking has been proven to reduce stress. Sometimes a short walk just to clear their head (and yours) is all that is needed.
9. Complete a craft.
It gives the child the chance to sit still and focus on something other that what made them upset for a few minutes.
Coloring is helpful on so many levels. This is another activity that allows them to redirect their focus to something else. Having special coloring books just for calm down time may be beneficial. You can even let your child pick out a coloring book that they would like to have.
Sometimes all of the anxiety and anger built up can be released by something a simple as running. Like walking it helps to reduce stress and can be the start of making sure your child has a healthy outlet for reducing stress.
12. Find something squishy and squeeze it
Squeezing is a great way to release tension in the body. Kids sometimes don’t realize just how upset they are (and how much they are holding in) until they start squeezing something.
13. Place hands in pockets
Like a hug, this is another form of applying deep pressure to the body. Kids can also sit on their hands or clasp them.
14. Close eyes and think of a calm place (or place they want to be)
15. Push against the wall
Have your child push against the for 10-15 second two or three times. This allows them to relax by releasing hormones into the body.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.