8 Tips to Calm Your Child Down
Being a parent is one of the greatest joys in life. It can also be incredibly difficult. Although there are countless books on parenting and plenty of self help available, nobody can really be prepared for the responsibilities of raising a child. Dealing with a hyperactive child who is on a sugar high, or coming home from a sleepover or play date can be especially difficult. We have put together the following 8 strategies parents can use to help calm their children in situations such as these.
- Create a Calm Environment. One of the best ways to calm a child down is by designating a certain (small) area of the house as a “Calm Zone”. It can be a small nook or corner of the living room, or even a box “fort” in your child's room. Make sure it is ‘furnished’ with comfy pillows and blankets, and has a number of cozy items such as books or art supplies. This is never meant to be a ‘Time Out Zone’, so let them get used to this space as being a place of relaxation.
- Play soothing music. When your child comes home and is feeling especially rambunctious, one thing you can do is put on some nice soothing or calming music. Too much loud noise can be a trigger or exacerbate anxious feelings in children, making them more hyper.
- Limit any screen time. When your child comes home from a party or play date, do not plant them in front of the television, computer, iPad, or any other screen or device. Rapidly changing colours, moving images, and sounds have the opposite of a calming effect. Limit their time on technology. Instead give them an activity to do, such as an arts or craft project, or to write in a journal.
- Try a mini massage. There is power in physical touch. This is true for people of all ages. Physical touch and affection often leads to endorphins being released in the body which cause a calming and soothing feeling in the body.
- Avoid raising your voice. One of the worst reactions you can have to a hyperactive child is getting angry and raising your voice. Loud noises trigger anxiety in children, and it reinforces negative lessons on dealing with frustrations and problems. It teaches them that yelling is normal and is an appropriate response to frustration.
- Exercise. Help them burn off that extra energy by doing some exercise or by running around and playing in the yard. This is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to deal with hyperactivity.
- Yoga and meditation. Yoga and meditation are healthy and helpful practices for people of any. It does not hurt to start your child off early in yoga. It teaches them to calm both their body and mind, and allows them to think through stressful situations. It will also help them find balance in their life.
- Plan some activities. Have a set list of activities pre-planned that your child can participate in. This will help them focus their energies on a project, and gives them a sense of accomplishment once they have completed the activity.
These 8 tips are excellent strategies to help calm and sooth the hyperactivity in children. However, not all children are alike, so not all children will respond in the same way to these tips. You can use these as a starting point and modify them to help fit your child's needs.