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[Guest Editor] Tammi Kirkness: 5 calming techniques for kids

In Features, Guest Editors, Life, Mind Health, Stories by Nicole Fuge

If you’re needing to help your littles find calm and release their worries, you are not alone – here are some practical calming techniques to try at home.

By Tammi Kirkness

Helping the youngest people in our lives learn to navigate their worries and switch off their minds takes practice.

The more we build their emotional processing capacity, the more ours grow too, so go gently and remember that if you’re coming from a place of love every effort makes a difference.

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5 practical calming techniques for kids

1. Do ‘Ragdoll’ Pose Together

If your child talks about having too many thoughts in their head, the yoga pose ‘ragdoll’ is a beautiful activity to do.

To do this, stand up together and then bend over like you’re going to touch your toes. Once you are upside down, hold on to your elbows while dangling forward like a rag doll. Picture all the unhelpful thoughts falling out of the top of your heads. After about 20 seconds, gently stand back up.

2. Utilise Physical Touch

There is nothing quite like a cuddle to help oxytocin flood the body. To help your kid feel safe and supported, there is no such thing as too many hugs.

To extend the feelings of physical touch throughout the night and pockets of the day, consider buying a weighted blanket for them. These blankets help continue the release of oxytocin when you can’t be cuddling up together.

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3. Say Affirmations

Affirmations are a simple and effective way to help calm busy minds. They are positive statements that, when repeated, begin to feel and become true.

You might like to read these out each morning with your child over breakfast:

I am safe.

I allow myself to have fun.

Interruptions are okay.

I am a good kid.

I choose to feel peaceful.

Mistakes help me learn.

I relax with every breath I take.

It’s safe for me to breathe deeply.

Trying my best is a great place to start.

My brain is amazing.

I am calm and comfortable.

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4. Talk Through Fears

Once you’re aware of any worries your kids have, you are in a position to both acknowledge their feelings and give facts to help debunk their fears.

While you have these conversations, keep in mind that many kids tend to open up more while they are working on an activity at the same time. After all of this, exhale out all the worries together with a big breath in and out.

5. Oxygenate Their Brain

Deep breaths bring extra oxygen to the brain, allowing our bodies to relax.

To help them learn to breath deeply, have your child lie on their back and place a closed heavy-ish book on their tummy. Have them notice how the book rises when they breathe in and how it lowers as they breathe out. Aim to have them do this five or more times before gently standing up.

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