In my work as a special education advocate and parenting coach, the one question I get most often is, “How can help my child calm down when he is overstimulated?” This could be a sensory issue, like spinning out of control at a noisy party. It could also be an emotional issue where the child because overwrought from anxiety or anger. It can also just be from being too tired or overwhelmed.
I wrote Why Does My Child Meltdown After School? to help you figure out WHY your child needs calming. I know that hyperactivity and overstimulation are two of the biggest challenges parents face, but figuring out the WHY can help you figure out HOW to help! One of my all-time favorite strategies for calming is using a Weighted Blanket, which is why I wrote 5 Reasons You Must Have a Weighted Blanket.
For school I created the 18 Ways for Calming the Hyper Child printable to help teachers find strategies to help children sit still and focus. But I realize as parents we often have to calm our kids on the go. That is why I created this infographic with 12 calming approaches that an be done most anywhere. In my work I have found over and over that parents who regularly employ calming strategies can reduce or even avoid big time meltdowns.
- Sensory input: Providing stimulation to the sensory system works the muscles and can have a calming effect for the whole body.
- Grounding: Simply another term for ‘knowing what the body is doing,’ grounding can be done anywhere in as little as 60 seconds. This has always been my go-to strategy when out in a public place. My card deck, Grounded for Life: 52 Exercises for Daily Grounding, makes it super simple to find the grounding techniques that are easiest for you.
- Crossing the Midline: This refers to exercises that cross the center of the body. These exercises activate the corpus collasum, the bundle of nerve fibers that connect the two sides of the brain. Doing this activates both sides of the brain, helping to integrate processing. Thinking with the whole brain create a calmer, more focused mind.
- Mindfulness: This is a popular technique that helps the child get in tune with what the mind is doing, and helping it find a more centered space.
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