5 Techniques on Calming an Upset Child (or Parent)!

Posted by Jim Otto

Calming.jpgOver the years, Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids has seen plenty of kids come through our doors that aren't overly thrilled about the idea of getting a haircut, or an ear piercing. However, as a kids hair salon that specializes in creating a fun, memorable and positive experience for both children and their parents - we've learned a thing or two on helping kids feel great - as well as how to turn those frowns upside down. Following are five calming techniques for an upset child (or upset parent)!

1. Slow down and breath deep! When it comes to calming an upset child, sometimes it's good to just take a deep breath - which works for both the child and for the parent who might be getting a little frustrated! A good way to do this is to close your eyes (if you can) draw in a long, slow breath - hold it for a couple seconds, and then slowly exhale. Do this a number of times if necessary to help clear the mind and relax.

2. Just Count to 10! If a parent or child finds themselves in a difficult situation, sometimes the best thing you can do is count to 10 before you respond. This allows the individual to take a moment to properly assess the situation and formulate an appropriate response to whatever is going on. We've all been there when we get provoked by a bully, and we feel the need to impulsively lash out - with sometimes regrettable consequences later. Counting to 10 is a great way to possibly help keep those regrets to a minimum!

3. Give Yourself a Hand! No, this doesn't mean that whenever you're having a tough time to stop and clap. Although, the gentle rythmm of softly clapping hands can be a good way to help focus. Another good idea is to encourage your upset child to place their hands in their pocket, sit on them, or clasp their hands tightly together. This not only helps encourage restraint, but can help the individual think about the gentle pressure being applied to their hands. Another technique is to blow into the hand when upset. Much like the above mentioned deep breathing, this involves the child exhaling into their hands as they breath. The sensation of their breath against their hand is another way for them to consider something other than negative feelings. Note: Sometimes when frustrated or unable to focus, placing your hands under the water from a faucett, or washing your face can help clear the mind as well.

4. Walk it Out! If a person is really bothered by something, it can be a good idea just to go for a short walk and get a little exercise. If the weather is bad, walk around the the interior of whatever building you are in, and take notice of the artwork, style, or design of the structure. If the weather is good, take a short walk outside and notice the clouds in the sky, flowers, trees and noises of your surroundings. Whether walking inside or out, the idea is just to take a few moments to allow the mind and body to relax through movement and positive stimulation from your environment. And if there's an occassion where you're unable to walk anywhere, people will also use exercise techniques like yoga or running in place. 

5. A Hug and a Song! Last but certainly not least, is the power of love and a little music to lift the heart. We've all been there where sometimes all we need is just a gentle hug from someone we know and trust. And when people are upset, a great way to calm them down is to just hug them for as long as they want you to. Making eye contact is also good when giving hugs, as it lets people know you're in tune with what's going on. Also, with children, sometimes a favorite song softly hummed in their ear is a good way to promote those happy thoughts.

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