It's never too early to teach your child techniques that can be used throughout life. The earlier you start, the more time your child has to master skills that will help them to stay cool under pressure.

The Reasons

Why start teaching your self-control at an early age? It's important for your child to learn how to handle frustration, anger, and anxiety because these emotions will come up in life. It's easier to teach a calm child instead of waiting until an outburst. You want your child to have the skills needed under his or her belt before beginning to feel out of control. You also get a chance to model these behaviors when teaching your child how to use them. Since you are going to be depending on the same management techniques as your child ages, this is great practice!

Breathing Techniques

One of the first things you feel when you’re upset is a loss of breath or difficulty breathing. Your child may feel this due to a tantrum or a panic attack. Controlled breathing gives your child something to focus on while providing much-needed oxygen to the brain, which helps center your child. Teaching your child to count breaths or to take deep elevator breaths is wonderful for grounding anxiety and can bring your kid back to the moment. Once your child is calm, he can explain his feelings and can help you look for solutions. The time for talking is after your child is calm, and breathing techniques are a great go-to when your child feels the stress coming on.

Use the Senses

You have probably already noticed that your child likes to touch and smell everything. Kids are sensory creatures, and this works to your advantage when trying to calm them down. One way to pull a kid out of a spiral is to teach them to use the five senses. Ask your child to tell you what he or she sees, smells, and hears. Have the child touch something nearby and describe the texture. This will ground your child in the now and help calm them down enough to move forward.

Body Scan

You can teach your child to perform a body scan when they are perfectly calm. A body scan can actually help children recognize where they are mentally, physically, and emotionally. If your child recognizes that they did not wake up feeling calm, this gives both of you vital information. You know to start the day slowly and to keep checking in. Kids can lounge on the couch and simply scan from head to toe to see where they are holding tension or feeling discomfort. This is also a great technique for adults.

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