Knowing how to cope with stress is a critical life skill. If our kids can learn how to calm down and think clearly while under stress, they will have a much better chance of leading successful and happy lives. Here are some things I am doing to teach my kids how to calm down and stay calm so that they can think clearly. I would love to hear your tips in the comments!
Activities to Help Kids Calm Down and Stay Calm
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Walking, running, playing sports, climbing, and swinging on a swing set are all wonderful ways for kids to calm down and think through a situation. The physical exercise releases endorphins, which reduce your brain’s perception of pain.
In the photo above, Emma is playing with medium resistance therapy putty*. This putty has higher resistance than silly putty, play dough and homemade putties, and this extra resistance makes it even better as a calm-down tool.
Help someone else
Feeling bad about your lot in life? Go find someone who needs help and help them. This approach to facing challenges has made a huge difference in my life, and it works really well with my kids as well.
Talk it out
I have friends whose children talk and talk and talk. My kids are not like this – by default – but talking is still very helpful to them! I find that they talk best when we are doing something else – walking to and from school, driving in the car, and while cooking dinner. I also find out a lot if I spend a few minutes in their bedroom at bedtime – once the lights are out.
Paint is probably my kids’ favorite creative medium when they are stressed; when I was a kid I used to play the piano. The important thing is that kids have a way to express themselves, and sometimes a creative medium helps pave the way to talking about a stressful situation.
My favorite thing about these activities is that they are all techniques that my kids can (and hopefully will) use as adults to cope with stress and strong emotions.
How do you help your kids calm down and stay calm? How do you calm down, and how do you keep yourself calm in stressful situations?