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10 Parenting Tips to Calm down Kids in a Minute

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10 Parenting Tips to Calm down Kids in a Minute


Being able to resolve conflicts is one of the most important social skills our kids need in order to thrive in relationships and life .

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When kids or adults are really mad words and reactions can be ugly the inability to calm down self-regulate and manage anger can have lasting negative effects the most important of which can be an adulthood that lacks meaningful sustained relationships and since the people and relationships in our lives are the most important predictor of happiness and well-being this is a high price to pay for not learning to control anger.

For children this can manifest itself in many ways but the primary consequence of angry reactions is social rejection in other words anger in children is a deterrent to friendships and lack of peer support at a young age often leads to an absence of fulfilling relationships later in life that’s why teaching our kids to regulate their emotions and learn how to calm down when angry are important life skills.

Take a look at adults that have issues managing anger and the damage it can cause in their lives and the lives of those close to them angry people cause others to feel upset intimidated and unloved, which in turn leaves the angry person feeling isolated and often miserable this reminds us then of how important it is to help our kids learn to calm down in the midst of difficult situations because no matter how hard we might try to pave our child’s path also not a good idea they will most definitely encounter people and situations that bring up negative emotions like anger, frustration and sadness. And our kids need to learn how to process those emotions in a productive way.

For kids with low self-regulation processing emotions productively can be a real challenge most are quick to anger over-reacting to small things like being on the losing end of a card game or misplacing a prized toy such children often perceive themselves as targets of other kids even when they are not. And even the kindest of kids can get annoyed at ones who have angry outbursts.

Modeling for Our Kids



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Being aware of our own reactions to situations and what we’re modeling for our kids is essential as we try to teach them how to calm down unfortunately or fortunately if you are good at calming down our kids are going to learn to respond to situations the same way we do the worst coping mechanism I have utilized when I’m frustrated is sarcasm I’m not a yeller but I have often found myself making a sarcastic comment to my kids in response to something they have done or not done that’s bothered me as soon as the words are out I know I was wrong to say them so I too need to practice calming down before I respond to a situation teaching our kids ways to calm down and practicing these techniques ourselves is an important way we can help ensure better relationships and overall well-being for our kids and ourselves.

Never Problem Solve when Emotions are High


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Especially in conflict situations the people involved need to calm down before any talking or problem solving can happen nothing useful comes from trying to lead a discussion with upset emotionally fragile kids so always gently help them figure out the best way to calm down before attempting to solve the issue this goes for parents too if our child has done something that really makes us mad and requires some type of conversation or consequence we need to step back and calm down before we respond so that we can do so in a logical way that lets our child know we love them and that they will be held responsible for rectifying the situation or facing the consequences of their behavior.

10 Ways to Calm Down


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There are many ways people have found to calm down finding what works for you and helping your child learn what works for them might involve some trial and error think of it as an experiment in calming down and tell your kid it’s an experiment too start by saying something like this: “I’m trying to learn to calm down when I’m angry so I don’t say things I regret later I would love for you to practice with me because I think it will help you with your friends at school.” Then, try one or more of these TEN ideas:

1. Go to a “chill spot”


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Instead of making the need to calm down a negative thing like a “time out” we can turn it into a positive by designating a place or different places where we go to calm down we can call it a “chill spot” or whatever name sounds good and it can be our bedroom or a patio chair outside or a comfy sofa in the living room talk about it when everyone is calm and explain what the “chill spot” is for you and your child can share your respective “chill spots.” Remember to make it a pleasant spot not the chair facing the corner in the garage maybe even set up some “chill” supplies at the designated spot a book, coloring, or any other calming activities. The next time you are having a stressful “moment” if you are like me it will probably happen within the next day model going to the chill spot yourself before you ask your child to use it before yelling or reacting in sarcasm or anger just say “I’m going to my chill spot for a few minutes I need to calm down.” They will learn volumes from your modeling and probably look forward to their “chill spot” opportunities.

2. Go outside for a walk or run


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Getting outside and getting some exercise are both great ways to calm down kids with ADHD that exercise for ten minutes get more benefits than medication check this is a great activity to do together I advise no talking for at least 5-10 minutes while walking or running so that the calming can happen and the brain clears of cortisol and floods with endorphins.

3. Take some deep breaths


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I have been learning to breathe this year when we are upset we tend to do a kind of shallow breathing that keeps us agitated and anxious slowing down our breathing can help our body physiologically calm down which leads to a calmer mental state where the body goes the mind follows so during the stress response caused by a negative situation or interaction we really need to just breathe deeply for a little while this can be standing up, sitting down or lying down again when talking with our kids about how breathing can help us calm down we can practice together and find the “best position” for ourselves.

4. Count to 10 (or 100)


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I do this sometimes in my head not out loud Just pausing before responding can help prevent things from coming out of the mouth that we later regret teaching our kids this skill can be a life changer.

5. Listen to some soothing music – (not angry music!)


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Have a playlist handy on your phone that’s your happy/calming music have one for your child too if they are young or encourage them to create their own calming playlist

6. Think of something you’re grateful for


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Any gratitude practice can help you calm down, because you can’t hold the two physiological/mental states of anger and gratitude at the same time if you jot down a note of a few things you are grateful for or pen a thank you letter you will feel much more calm after.

7. Look at a funny meme or video


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I keep a Pinterest board of funny things maybe only to me again if you can laugh you will offset the negative emotions and be able to calm down plus a hearty belly laugh is just good in general.

8. Hug


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This is a simple thing that might be appealing to your child as a way to calm down holding them still and breathing with them while giving a loving hug, can help them calm down.

9. Loosen up


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Stretch or do a yoga pose like “child’s pose” or my personal favorite “corpse.” Doing these things can help you breathe and bring a calmness to your body that will reverberate in your mind.

10. Sit quietly and have a drink of water, cup of tea, or piece of fruit


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This could be part of going to the chill spot or it can be its own calming technique just sitting quietly and sipping a cup of water is a way to extricate from whatever stressful encounter or situation is at hand.

Empower your child to figure out what works best for him/her to calm down and continue practicing together the valuable life skill of being able to calm down will lead to better relationships and success, at home and at work throughout your child’s life.

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