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10 ways to calm your child and build resilience

These creative and nurturing strategies empower your child to navigate life’s challenges with confidence.

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Childhood can be a rollercoaster ride and as an adult, it’s your job to help the little ones navigate the ups and downs, helping them build skills for the future. These moments are also an opportunity to connect with your child.

Here are some ideas to create mindful moments that bring joy and build resilience for your child:

Take a mindfulness walk: If your child is feeling upset, it’s a good idea to take them outdoors for a walk, if you can. Notice the sights, sounds, and smells of nature as you stroll together. It’s a simple way to clear your mind and connect. It also gives them a coping mechanism as they grow older.

Try yoga for kids: Introduce your child to simple yoga poses and breathing exercises designed just for them. Yoga can help release tension, improve focus, and promote relaxation. When your child is anxious while preparing for an exam, ask them to focus on their breathing as it helps to calm them down. In time, they will learn to do this on their own. You can also introduce them to aromatherapy, using calming scents like lavender or chamomile through essential oils or candles. 

Practise progressive muscle relaxation: Guide your child through a series of exercises where they tense and then relax different muscle groups in their body. This technique can help release physical tension and promote relaxation. You can turn this into a mindfulness practice, where they close their eyes, focus on their breath and gradually on one body part at a time, starting from their toes and moving to the top of their heads. 

Do an activity together: Get a slime kit and create magic as your child gets busy creating various shapes. You can also use putty for a fun activity. Another recommended way is to make a calming Glitter Jar. For this, fill a jar with glitter, water and a drop of food colouring. When your child feels overwhelmed, shake the jar and watch as the glitter settles, helping them calm their thoughts and regain focus.

Build a fort: Any child would love their personal retreat, somewhere they can go when they need a break. Encourage your child to create a cosy fort using sheets, a blanket, pillows and cushions. It’s a fun and imaginative way for them to create their own little sanctuary where they can read a book or simply sit with their thoughts.

Practice gratitude together: Counting your blessings works, at any age. Take a moment each day to reflect on things you’re grateful for. Encourage your child to share what they appreciate, fostering a positive outlook and resilience in the face of challenges. You can ask your child to think of three good things that happened on a particular day, which will help them dwell on positive aspects despite facing any disappointments.

Engage in sensory play: Set up a sensory bin filled with materials like rice, beans, or sand for your child to explore with their hands. Sensory play can help calm the mind and improve focus. You can even hide some items such as toys and ask them to guess what it is just by feeling around with their fingers. It can be a fun activity to do together.

Practice grounding techniques: Encourage your child to focus on their senses by identifying five things they can see, four things they can touch, three things they can hear, two things they can smell, and one thing they can taste. This is a well-known technique that can help bring their attention back to the present moment and reduce anxiety.

Try guided imagery: Guide your child through a storytelling exercise where they imagine themselves in a peaceful and relaxing environment. Encourage them to use all their senses to fully immerse themselves in the calming scene. This powerful meditative and visualisation technique also emphasises the mind-body connection.

Practise positive affirmations: Encourage your child to repeat positive statements about themselves, such as “I am capable” or “I am resilient”. These affirmations can help boost their self-esteem and confidence during challenging times. You can also write it on the mirror, so it’s the first thing they see in the morning when they brush their teeth, for instance.

With these creative and nurturing strategies, you can empower your child to navigate life’s challenges with confidence.

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