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Helping a child calm down

Uncategorized Apr 20, 2021

I was listening to a great podcast today - I highly recommend it - by Erin Royer and is called Your Village, Parenting Beyond Discipline.

I wanted to tell you about something Erin suggested - it's especially helpful if you have a child who is prone to emotional outburst but it could be lovely for any child.

I so wish I'd known about this when my children. I think they would have all benefitted from it at some point.

So she recommends having a 'cosy space' or 'calm corner' that you can gently take your child to if they are becoming overwhelmed and starting to lose it. Here are some ways to make your space

  • · When your child is NOT having a tantrum or in a bad mood, have a chat with them about the fact they sometimes struggle 'Sometimes you find it really hard when you get angry. I've got an idea... We could make a special place with some things that help you feel calm, what do you think you'd like there?'
  • It might be that they don’t understand the concept and you have to show them or explain it in a different way. It needs to be put across as something really positive though.

Here are some ideas for things to put in the cosy space (some from me and some from Erin):

❤️ Some tactile things like a soft blanket, a cushion with a soft cover, something that smells good – lavender bags are great
❤️ Things to look at that are calming like photos of baby animals – puppies, kittens, rabbits. Children also love photos of them as babies.
❤️ A favourite toy – you can also get something called a liquid motion bubbler that has a calming effect.
❤️ Good books about emotions – There’s a great series called ‘I have the power to’ a book called ‘When Sophie gets angry, really, really angry’ and ‘Interrupting chicken’ which has a few in the series.
❤️ You could also have some music to play that helps your child calm down.

Things to know about the cosy space – never use it as a threat or punishment. Talk about it a lot and even practice going there when your child is NOT having an outburst.

Try to catch them when things are building up and suggest you take them there. If they refuse to go, just say ‘ok’. Never make it a stipulation

I’m aware that living space is often at a premium and therefore it might not be possible to have a permanent calm space, but you could keep the special objects in a bag or box to take out and place somewhere for your child.

Let me know if you find this useful, I love hearing from you.

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