10 Ways to Help Anxious Children Calm Down

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As much as we adults get stressed out, so do our children! And military life provides lots of opportunities to create anxiety in our children- deployments, field time, training, frequent moves, changing schools, and constant fluctuation of friends. Or things such as adding new children to the family that many families face. As their parents, teachers, babysitters, or other family members we need to be prepared to help them calm down and relax when they are stressed and anxious.

Here are my top 10 tips for helping calm down when they are feeling stressed and anxious!

 

  • Blow Bubbles! Having a little kid sit there and just take deep breaths in and out can be hard, as most parents know! But blowing bubbles is so fun and cane help the child visualize the deep breaths by watching the bubbles.

  • We’ve all seen the pretty calm down jars like these ones! Watching the glitter move through the jar can still the child, which can have a calming effect, especially if the child is visually oriented in other tasks, such as learning.
  • Give them a big hug! Wrap your baby up and hold them tight. Knowing they are secure and safe in your arms can relieve a lot of anxiety for little ones.
  • Pop some bubble wrap. This is great for children who are kinesthetically oriented. Having something active, constructive, and nondestructive can help relieve anxiety. Doing something with your hands can help swap the mind from the emotionally over-charged center of the brain to the calmer logical part.
  • Coloring. We have all seen that adult coloring books are all the rage right now for decreasing anxiety, well if it works for us then it works for the little ones too! Sit down with them and spend some time coloring together. Maybe put some soothing music on in the background for an extra effect.
  • Put on their favorite Disney Jam and sing it out with them! Singing out loud has been shown to release endorphins, which lifts the mood! So have a dance party while you’re at it and shake those worries away!
  • Put the kiddos in a nice warm bubble bath and have them splash and play their worries away! What momma isn’t relaxed by a nice warm lavender vanilla bubble bath! This means what works for us, typically works for them. If you have more than one, and bath time is normally full of conflict, maybe bathe them one at a time tonight!
  • Got play-dough in the craft room? Give some to your kid and let them squish it between their fingers, roll it around. Playing with something in their hands can be a grounding effect. For people who suffer from panic or severe anxiety one of the most suggested ways to ground oneself is find things you can see, smell, touch, hear, taste. Squishy play-dough is something to feel.
  • Get some exercise in! Go for a bike ride, play tag, jump rope, just get outside and run around. Exercise in any form can release endorphins to have a calming effect.
  • If you notice that your kid still suffers from anxiety and have tried a variety of calming methods perhaps it is time to look into counseling. One of the main modes of therapy for kids is play therapy and incorporating expressive art therapy. Both of these modalities is helpful for children who struggle to express their feelings verbally or who express most feelings physically, in a more negative manner as it allows them to express their feelings in any form in a safe, contained area.

I hope you find these methods helpful in your household! I know the struggles of living with children with anxiety, as it often feeds our own anxiety which feeds theirs and we end up in a never ending cycle. These methods have been shown to break the cycle! If we can calm our children down it will reduce our own anxiety as well.

Military parents, we know how stressful military life though for our kids! Between deployments, PCSs and mom/dad coming and going, friends PCSing our kids are placed under so much stress! If you looking for great ways to help lead your children through these transitions hop over to my Military Parenting Page and check out my program coming soon: Parenting Coaching Designed specifically for Military Parents to address the unique concerns that we face with our children. Take a moment and sign up for updates and receive a FREE GIFT: Behavior Chart & an Easy How to Guide for Promoting Positive Behavior in our children.



What are the best methods you have found to help reduce anxiety and stress in your kiddos?

10 ways to reduce anxiety in kids

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31 thoughts on “10 Ways to Help Anxious Children Calm Down

    1. Fatima,

      Thank you! Yes I think hugs are great. Unfortunately one of the most anxiety inducing events for a child is when their parents are upset with them, but this is also the times that parents are least likely to hug their children because they are upset.

    1. Yes Amy! So many ways to calm down children and adults are the same! If you are looking for more check out my post on 15 Healthy Coping Skills or sign up for my email list so you don’t miss my Self-Care Tool-Box!

  1. I have teens and college kids now. At this age, sitting and listening to them while they talk and not giving any advice or interrupting until they have finished is effective. Often by the time they finish talking they are much calmer and have come to some of the conclusions I would have interrupted with.

  2. Love these ideas! I never thought bubble blowing would be calming, but it makes perfect sense. Will definitely reflect back to these tips in the future! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Yes!! My boys love doing all of these activities and could go for hours! The bubbles, playdoh, singing/dancing all make such great memories. Great tips for reducing anxiety 🙂

  4. These are great tips! I use all of these ideas with my four kids and you are absolutely right. Sometimes the distraction of these calming activities is enough to make them forget their worries!

    1. Yes! I think when our children get anxious it makes us anxious because we want them to be ok, and our anxiety feeds their anxiety. Doing this activities together can help ease everyone’s mind and all us can relax.

  5. Thanks for the tips! Most are things that are so simple but you completely forget about when your child is having troubles. Will be keeping this list handy!

  6. I am so happy to find your post. My daughter is always so anxious and I deal with it so even more anxiety. So you can guess where is her anxiety comes from. Thank for such a wonderful idea. Bubble, colouring, ride a bike, disney song..all seems so doable and I make sure i remember that.

    1. I am so glad you found this! Yes we feed our children’s anxiety and their anxiety feeds ours so it can be important to break the cycle, doing these activities together can do just that!

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