Soothing Techniques

Soothing techniques and relaxation strategies can be beneficial for Children with behavioral or emotional disorders like ADHD, bipolar, sensory processing difficulties, and other conditions. Here I offer you a short list of some of the more popular options that can be done at home and some that can be done in public...

This may seem like common sense but sometimes in the heat of a temper tantrum or melt down, we forget all our options. This just helps keep it fresh in your memory.

Soothing at Home and Away

  • alone time in room
  • warm bath or shower
  • time watching favorite movie or TV show
  • hiding in a fort or other enclosed space
  • listening to music-probably with headphones
  • playing in a sandbox
  • running hands through or sorting dried beans
  • reading a book-if able-or being read to
  • swinging in a swing outside
  • time out in car or some other seat
  • handheld video game
  • a short walk outside or around the store (depending where you are)
  • a hug while whispering reassurances in the ear
  • deep breathing-no more than 3 at a time
  • blowing bubbles
  • playing with playdough or silly putty
  • fiddling with any type of small toy (like those nuts that sit on a magnetic platform and you can move them around)

This is certainly not a complete list and you will have to choose what you think might work best for your child. For example, my own son has thus far never been able to calm himself by being alone anywhere. It scares him. But he can cover himself up like a mummy and hide as long as I am in the same room.

And of course, for some kids nothing will work. They will simply require time and in order to give them that time you might first have to drag them out of wherever you are (like the store) to save yourself any more embarrassment.

Remember to keep your head up. You are the parent. You know what you are doing.

And do not worry that you are rewarding them by letting them do something "fun" to calm down. They have to calm down before anything else you do is worth anything, period.

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