An Age-by-Age Guide to Help Your Child Calm Down

How many times have you told your child to “calm down?” This article provides a breakdown of specific activities that can help your child calm down based on their age.  Psychotherapist Amy Morin, who has a new book out called 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do, says that children need to be able to control their tempers in order to succeed in life.  Being able to deal with stress, anger, frustration and anxiety requires a specific set of skills.  Not all children just inherently “know” these skills; sometimes we have to directly teach our children how to calm down.   Morin shares some visualization tactics in her book to help children learn to regulate their own emotions.  Here are some examples:

Preschool: “Stop and Smell the Pizza” teaches young children that slow, deep breaths can relax the body and reduce anger.

School Age: “Change the Channel” provides a task for children to keep their hands busy and also provides a “brain switch,” or shift in focus.  Morin notes that this should only be used when children are feeling stuck or if their emotions are becoming destructive.

Teens: “Lengthen the Fuse” identifies things that could help your teen handle stress in a healthy way.

And – if some of these appeal to our readers – there’s absolutely no reason that adults can’t implement these strategies for themselves!  🙂

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