Helping our children manage big emotions is no small tasks. Especially when most of us aren’t pros at managing our own emotions. It can be so hard for us as parents to know what to do when our little one is screaming because they wanted the blue cup. Do you feel me? Next time your little one is struggling, stay calm (that’s important) and try one of these coping skills:
10 Coping Skills for Small Children
1. Have a hug- hugs comfort, and they affirm our little ones. They also release endorphins that can help our little ones calm down.
2. Deep breaths- this is another one that releases endorphins. It also helps give oxygen to the brain, which can promote thinking more clearly.
3. Count to 4-if your little one has started counting, help them slow down, by counting to four. This can give them the chance to practice a little mindfulness and breathe.
4. Time away- if your child is really struggling, remove the audience, the temptation, or the trigger. This may mean sitting with them in another room if you are visiting friends. It may mean having them sit in the stroller until they are calm enough to listen. If you are at home it may mean having them sit in their room or in a designated corner until they feel calm. It is possible that your child is simply over stimulated and needs some down time.
5. Calm Down Bottle-creating a calm down bottle can be a wonderful tool for helping children. When they are feeling strong emotions they can play with the bottle and practice mindfulness.
6. Hold a hand- holding a hand can be a way to help a child feel calm and let them know you are with them.
7. Listen to music-music can be an effective way of helping a child calm down. You can give this as an option if you child seems to be experiencing big emotions.
8. Play with a favorite toy-does your child have a lovey? Give them the opportunity to cuddle or play with this special toy as a way to calm down.
9. Take a nap-is your child just tired? Maybe it’s time to do naptime routine?
10. Move on- if all else fails, move on. Maybe the situation is just too much that day. Move on.
This is a list for children, but something that must be said, is that a lot of us adults could use these coping skills. Next time you feel like you’re losing control, set an example and use one of these skills. And remember, none of us is perfect at controlling our emotions. That’s why there’s grace. Give grace to your littles, and grace to yourself. Everytime we miss it is an opportunity to talk about forgiveness.