Rio Chama Publications

2 minutes reading time (359 words)


pm 0216 med dsc 7919 956Most parents have experienced a frightened or anxious child. Anxiety often initiates the fight-or-flight response, triggering the release of chemicals that ramp up heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure to mobilize the body for action. As a result, children may cry, shake, cling, hide, be especially quiet, be still, act out, or feel nauseated. After the threat is gone, it can take twenty to sixty minutes for the body to return to normal.

According to a recent article in Psychology Today, there are simple strategies that help children calm down, regain a sense of safety, and address their anxiety.

#1 Take slower, deeper breaths from the abdomen or diaphragm to lower heart rate and induce relaxation.

#2 Get active—physically demanding tasks, such as pushing, pulling, and exercise can help calm the child.

# 3 Make a plan together, such as taking short walks, having a special treat, watching a comical movie, etc.

 #4 Enact rituals or “stability anchors” to help relieve stress, such as reading comic books and creating regular rituals before, during, or after anxiety-provoking events.

#5 Name it—help kids to tell a story about what’s upsetting them.

#6 Relax—meditating or narrowing attention on one particular conversation can help soothe and focus the child.

#7 Laugh—this distracts, relaxes muscles, and releases endorphins.

#8 Reflect—When a child triumphs over a tricky situation, reflection on why he or she was anxious and how he or she conquered fear helps bring more awareness and potential ease to future situations.

When I was about five years old I had a tonsillectomy. I had never been in a hospital prior to that and, surely, I was afraid and anxious. However, when the doctor arrived in the surgical room he was very kind. He smiled at me and told me he had done many tonsillectomies. He reassured me—another calming strategy that was effective. Fortunately, the surgery was a success and after staying overnight in the hospital I was discharged and returned home the next day.

During a time when so many parents are quarantined at home with their young children, while having to juggle work and school responsibilities, I am hoping the list above will be of some benefit. It can also be used to work with the inner child we all have, who may very likely be experiencing some anxiety during this uncertain time. All comments are welcome.


Related Posts



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Friday, 07 August 2020

Captcha Image

Search Blog

Blog Tags

awareness leadership change emotions spiritual/spirituality health sense of self stress relationships holistic healing feminism aging exercise ego shadow self sexuality love reunion coronavirus soul shamanism yoga tai chi swimming walking Thank You community peace shame kindness creativity cancer racism healing attunement Gandhi learning employee pandemic employer brainhealth parent-infant attachment styles children music depression mental health dementia giving compassion astrology ideal self alzheimers climatecrisis friendship quiet ego growth stages friendships singingrevolution liftingweights hobbies socialresponsibility hope Dalai Lama smiling horses collaboration notgivingup lifepath balance the unconscious mediterraneandiet el paso healthy brain alcohol neighborhood holocaustsurvivors goodthings morality accountability education families god the feminine ageism civilrights gretathunberg harmonica nature elephants support choir gym anxiety Vietnam Starbucks mindfulness Tim Ryan retreat epilepsy celebration gardening challenges holidays diet prejudice alcoholism nonprofit goodhumans nonlinear immigration boss nuturance resolution deepermeaning New Book sermononthemount helpingothers patriotic attention matriarchs benefitsofsinging religion innerkid connection food fatherandson loneliness mindfulmeditation intimacy fundraising holiday environment self-soothing RBG animals liverdisease happiness dancing transitions Albert Einstein work environment inmates newyear humanity Amma wisdom Jesus contributing fun resilience sacred sex unity Christmas soothe imagination inclusion pilots companions present Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter arguing gratitude freshfood addiction emotional support animals cardiomyopathy smile zoom lifechanges brain growth 2020 inequality feminine divine feminine goodandevil positivethinking goodneighbors dolphin job spiritualpractice calm acupuncture dreams elderly breath hero parenting age sustainable homeless dogs pancreatitis Thanksgiving newnormal unknown intuition altzheimers habits earth development wholeness nonviolence rebuilding covid19 midwest integrity prison adoption fightorflight Congratulations