Children often find it challenging to keep their energy levels in check and stay calm. With all the excitement and stimulation around them, it's no wonder they sometimes have trouble settling down. Fortunately, there are a few simple strategies parents can use to help their child keep a "calm body."
- Practice Deep Breathing - This method is the first recommended by experts for a reason! Deep breathing is one of the simplest and most effective ways to calm the body. Encourage your child to take slow, deep breaths in through their nose and out through their mouth. This can help them regulate their breathing and feel more relaxed. You can also practice this technique with your child, and make it a fun game by pretending to blow up a balloon with each breath.
- Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation - Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in the body. It can help your child release tension and feel more relaxed overall. Employ this method when you see your child beginning to amp up. Start by having your child tense up a muscle group, such as their fists, for a few seconds, and then release the tension and let the muscle group relax. Repeat this process with different muscle groups, such as the shoulders, neck, and legs.They should feel a lot calmer by the end of the exercise.
- Encourage Mindfulness - Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Encourage your child to practice mindfulness by focusing on their breathing or by paying attention to the sensations in their body.
- Offer Sensory Input - Some children find it easier to stay calm when they have sensory input, such as a weighted blanket or a fidget toy. These types of items can provide a sense of comfort and help your child regulate their energy levels. Experiment with different types of sensory input to see what works best!
- Create a Calm Environment - Creating a calm environment can help your child feel more relaxed and at ease. Make sure your child's bedroom is a quiet, peaceful space where they can go to unwind. You can use soft lighting, calming colors, and soothing music to create a relaxing atmosphere. And while you're at it, make sure your home, in general, is a soothing and peaceful space. Clean up clutter, get rid of unnecessary noise, and make sure your house is a place where everyone can come and feel safe.
- Model Calm Behavior - Don't forget, your child is always watching! Children often take their cues from the adults around them. If you want your child to stay calm, it's important to model calm behavior yourself. Take time to manage your own stress levels, and show your child how to stay calm in different situations. This can help them develop the skills they need to manage their own emotions and energy levels.
Helping your child keep a "calm body" doesn't have to be complicated. The simple strategies listed above can make a big difference in your child's ability to manage their emotions and energy levels, and can help them develop lifelong skills for staying calm and centered.