When your child is overwhelmed with panic or anxiety, here is a strategy you can try to help them to calm:
You have heard of counting to 10!
Here are some ideas of adapting this, that may work better with your children.
Use a rectangular piece of card or a book (something with 2 longer edges and 2 shorter works best).
Get them to travel their finger along the long edge and short, keep going whilst thinking of –
- 5 things they can see
- 4 things they can hear
- 3 things they can touch
- 2 things they can taste
- 1 thing they can smell
Also worth trying is:
- Football players you know
- Favourite foods
- Favourite TV programmes
- Favourite toys
Thinking good things and moving can help to calm!
Most of all feel there is something YOU can do, your child will thank you.
See this technique in action here: Strategies for anxiety
Have you tried Starfish Breathing? You can use this in combination with the above sensory thinking too.
The key is to practice these strategies when the child is calm and not anxious, so they’re more able to access the strategy when they need it. Here is our blog about preventative strategies to try too: Dealing with outbursts
So, next time your child is overwhelmed and perseverating, panicking, or becoming overcome with anxiety, use this strategy to help them to calm.