Advanced Pediatric Therapies


Jar of Calm: Ideas for Coping

on April 16, 2014
Give your kids some ideas for dealing with discomfort.

Give your kids a jar filled with ideas for dealing with discomfort.


In the last post, we talked about self control and how to help kids gain it on the way to independence.  Sometimes, however, kids need some help.  In the heat of the moment, when your kid is on their way to a meltdown, their brains may be too foggy with anxiety, fear or anger to know how to help themselves.  We can give them some ways to chill out when they aren’t able to come up with anything on their own.  If your child is just about to tip into a full blown meltdown, it may not be the best time to try these ideas.  They really are more if you notice your child:

*becoming irritable

*seeming withdrawn and crabby

*not wanting to “talk about it”


These could be for a variety of reasons they may not even be able to articulate like:

*someone bumped into them at school

*the noise at school is too loud

*the feeling of their clothes

*feeling left out

*having a hard time paying attention at school

Here are some ideas for when your child seems to be bubbling over:

1.  talk to a trusted adult or friend

2.  sit in a ball in a corner/on a beanbag/ on the floor in their closet

3.  take a bath or shower

4.  blow out candles/blow up balloons/blow bubbles

5.  write it down, crumple it up and throw it away

6.  play with some Legos

7.  scream in a pillow

8.  read

9.  nap

10.  listen to nature sounds

11.  look out the window

12.  drink some water through a straw

13.  cuddle with a pet

14.  take some deep breaths, at least 6 seconds in and 6 seconds out.

15.  hug a pillow or teddy bear

16.  make up a story about a photo or picture

17.  make a collage with magazine clippings

18.  throw some ice cubes somewhere where it can do no damage

19.  do some guided imagery

20.  meditate

21.  help someone

22.  read the comics or jokes

23.   make silly faces in the mirror

24.  dance

25.  have a chewy snack

26.  change into sweats/comfy clothes

The ideas are as limitless as your imagination!  Most important is to have something ready for when you have to come up with something-quickly-when your child is feeling like things are out of their control.

Some ideas from:

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