Are you struggling with anxious and explosive kids? Try this simple tip to lower anxiety and keep kids from falling apart.
A few years ago, one of my kids started to fall apart – big time. Every single day, with meltdowns or explosions that lasted for up to two hours. Thankfully, I was able to get help. This one simple tip transformed that child’s life, and today I’m sharing it in case it helps you.
One Simple Way To Help Anxious And Explosive Kids
Bewildered by my once happy and cheerful child’s sudden meltdowns and explosions, I talked to someone in the Massachusetts Early Intervention program. They explained that a lot of kids who fall apart are doing so out of anxiety. Kids fall apart less when they feel like they have some control over their day.
The truth is, kids, don’t have much control over their daily schedules. That’s just the reality of being a kid. But there are things we can do as parents to make them feel like they have a little more control.
How to Help Kids Take Control of Their Lives
The simplest way to help kids feel some sense of control over their lives is to let them know what to expect on a given day. Back in Massachusetts, when my child was falling apart, her daily schedule was very simple. Get up, eat breakfast, play, eat lunch, play, read a book (or five), dinner, bedtime. I drew pictures to represent each item and put them on a board. You can also buy visual schedules for homes. This daily calendar is a great option for early elementary kids.
Home Schedules for Older Kids
This spring, I printed out a planner – at that same child’s request. Meltdowns and anxiety attacks are pretty rare these days, but I was struck by how much they enjoyed filling out and then checking off the day’s schedule. I noticed that this child became better at scheduling their own time, requiring a lot less direction and intervention from me.
Do you want to try this out with your own children? Here is a simple planner page that you can use. You can print a page for each day, or put it in a picture frame to use with a dry erase or wet erase marker. Laminating works, too! I used our binding machine to make my child’s pages into a book, with a photo for a pretty cover. Here are the links to download the pages:
- 8.5″ x 11″ daily planner printable (for US printers)
- A4 daily planner printable (for European printers)
My eleven-year-old has her own planner printable, too.
More Ways to Help Anxious and Explosive Kids
Here are some more techniques that I find helps anxious kids and prevents explosions:
- Go on family walks – and let the kids lead.
- Try these activities to help kids calm down and stay calm.
- Make sure kids get a chance to decompress after school and other stressful situations.
- Teach kids emotional intelligence.