Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Calm Breathing for Children

As a parent, you can help your child learn “calm breathing.”  

This will help them to ease anxiety and anger on their own, as well as minimize the intensity of "big feelings.” 

Teaching your children to use calm breathing to regulate their emotions is important because it shows them how to change their breathing to decrease the effects of their emotions.

It is helpful to practice with your child daily and while they are calm. If they learn to do it comfortably in a calm place, they will become secure in their breathing skills and able to use them when experiencing “big feelings.” 

This is a list of different breathing techniques you can try with your child:

BELLY BREATH: Lying down on your back, place a hand or a small toy (like a stuffed animal or rubber duck) on your belly. Breath. Watch your hand or toy rise and fall as you inhale and exhale deeply and slowly through your nose.

BUNNY BREATH: Pretend you are a bunny sniffing a flower. Take three quick inhales in through your little bunny nose and then one long exhale (like it was the most beautiful smelling flower ever) through your mouth. Repeat at least 3 times.

WHALE BREATH: Take a deep breath in through your nose and hold it while you count to five. Then tilt your head up to exhale through your whale blow-hole (your mouth). This is a good one to use when you feeling angry.

SNAKE BREATH: Breathe in through your nose, then slowly breathe out with a hissing sound for as long as you can. Try this breath seated or in cobra pose (lying on your belly, arch upward toward the sky with the inhale and lower down to your belly on the exhale).

Post by Isa Salvador, LCSW, IMH-E III, CCYT