Children can sometimes experience overwhelm. It can happen when life feels too tough, or when children feel that there is too much to do in too little time. Or it could when they find something challenging or in a situation they find difficult. A child may feel overwhelmed because they just don’t have the skills to cope can’t cope and that can make children feel frustrated, stressed, angry, sad or really any other emotion. If a child doesn’t have the skills needed to calm themselves down they will not be able to manage or cope with the stress of these emotions.
It can make parents & carers frustrated too as we want to say, “Just take it a step at a time. It’s not that bad. We can do it together”. We want to help them. The first thing we should do is to help them to calm down. Then we can talk to them and help them to understand what they are feeling, why they are feeling that and how to solve the problem they are having.
Tips for Beating Overwhelm
We can help children to calm down by using the following techniques:
- Doing some relaxation exercises.
- Try meditation or breathing exercises – search YouTube for videos and tutorials.
- Have a hug!
- Alternatively, we can get them to change the scene and do something more energetic such as trampolining or kicking a football around. Physical exercise will release stress.
- Distraction can work to calm a child down as it stops them thinking about what has upset them in the first place.
- Try journaling or writing down their feelings and the reasons they feel that way. Getting onto paper can be therapeutic and help to see the problem more objectively. It can also be an effective way to create action lists for overwhelming tasks or activities. Break down the tasks so they can work through step-by-step and only worry about the immediate next step, rather than the entire task at once.
There are many ways to help calm a child down – these are just a few suggestions. You know your child best so think about what works for your children. Help them find calmness when dealing with the overwhelming challenge they face and it will make life much less stressful. It’s a valuable life skill that will stay with them into adulthood.