8 ways to calm an anxious kid

March 7, 2015

I thought these suggestions were great and really work. Original post to be found here.

1. Name the Bad Feelings

Get your kid to think up a silly name for the bad feelings they’re having. For example: Bob.

Then tell your kid to boss those bad feelings around.

“Bob, stop making me feel like that!”

Or: “Go away, Bob!”

2. Shhh…

Logic doesn’t help when a child is experiencing real anxiety. Just stop talking and instead listen and give lots of hugs and kisses instead.

3. Give Your Kid a Friend

Let your kid pick a doll or stuffed animal, or even something like a bracelet.

In times of stress, encourage your child to find comfort in this special object. Research shows this helps kids with nighttime fears and sleep problems. Especially in cases of shared custody, the child can find it helpful to have an object they take between both houses that always travels with them.

4. Get a Straw and a Button

In one study, teaching kids to blow into a party blower reduced anxiety in 40 percent of the kids who tried it. If you don’t have a party blower on hand, use a straw and a button instead.

Show your child how to blow through the straw to move the button. This trick forced her to take a big deep breath and let it out slowly. Too fast, and the button would fly off the nightstand.

For more tips try What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety,

5. Make a Photo Album

When a child is feeling upset, it can help if he looks at pictures of pleasant events or people he loves.

6. Record Yourself

Record a loving and calming message on a device that your child can play when you’re not there.

7. Make a Calm-Down Jar

When anxious encourage your child to shake this glowing bedtime bottle and then count as many stars as possible as they float back down to the bottom. This can distract them from their anxiety and help them calm down. Research has shown that by practicing this and other forms of mindfullness regularly increases bloodflow and development in the areas linked to emotional control and feelings of calmness. Mindfullness in kids is easiest to achieve by asking them to focus on one of their senses, i.e. sight, sound, touch or breathing for a short period of time. This gives us brain a rest from ‘thinking’ and helps us be more in tune with our bodies.

8. Build a Toolbox

After you read through these tips to see what will be a good fit for your kid, review those ideas with your kid to make sure they understand all the tools.

Practice each one.

Then in the moment where they’re feeling anxious or scared, they’ll be confident and prepared to use their toolbox.

Original Post by Kelly J Holmes

And her’s one of my own

9. Happiness Book

My daughter was prone to the ‘negative nellies’ at bedtime so a friend, Fionnuala, suggested a happiness book. Everynight we’d write down one thing that made us happy that day. After about 3 months she didn’t need it anymore but it’s still a nice thing to do.

 

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One Response to “8 ways to calm an anxious kid”


  1. These are great tips, especially for younger children.


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