Navigating some childhood challenges can be stressful. Unfortunately, these challenges can appear at any time. When it happens at school, your child can feel overwhelmed, lonely and scared. Luckily, there are a few things you can teach your child to help them calm down when their emotions get out of control.

Teaching your child to calm themselves at school 

From an early age, children start developing many new emotions. These include strong emotions like anger, frustration, embarrassment, shame and excitement. These emotions can feel overwhelming to children, especially when they are around other people. 

Let’s now explore a few strategies you can teach your child to help them cope with strong emotions at school. 

  • Breathing 

Controlled breathing is one of the most effective ways to bring down anxiety and manage discomfort. Breathing exercises can be practised at home, making it easier to do when your child is at school. Your child can pretend they are blowing up a balloon by slowly exhaling, then deflating the balloon by inhaling slowly too.

  • Counting backwards 

Not only does counting give your child an opportunity to focus on something other than what is upsetting them, but counting backwards also offers an added concentration challenge that doesn’t overwhelm the brain.

  • Doodling

One of the easiest ways for both adults and children to calm down and recollect thoughts and emotions is to scribble down a few words or images. At school, your child will have access to a pencil or pen and a piece of paper, so encourage them to doodle when they feel overwhelmed. 

  • Listening 

Attentive listening can take the mind off stressful situations. Whenever your child is feeling stressed or overwhelmed, teach them to become quiet and focus on all the sounds they can hear around them. Just like counting, listening works to refocus the mind. 

  • Reaching out to an adult 

Sometimes, emotions can feel so immense that children feel out of control. Teach your child that it is normal to reach out and talk to a teacher or caregiver once they feel overwhelmed. Talking through what they are feeling can help them take charge of their emotions.