Teach your child to breathe: How to help them control emotions
As parents and grown-ups, it is our responsibility to help the children in our lives learn how to manage their emotions. One of the best ways to do this is by teaching them how to breathe properly. Proper breathing can help children calm down when they are feeling stressed, angry, or anxious. It can also help them focus and concentrate better.
Here are some tips on how to teach your child to breathe:
- Start by modelling good breathing habits. Children learn by watching the adults in their lives, so it is important to show them how to breathe properly. When you are feeling calm and relaxed, take a few deep breaths and let your child see you do it.
- Make it fun. There are many ways to make breathing exercises fun for children. You can play games, sing songs, or use puppets to teach them about breathing.
- Be patient. It may take some time for your child to learn how to breathe properly. Understand that it is a new skill that they and you need to practise regularly in order to master it fully.
Here are some breathing exercises that you can try with your child:
- Diaphragmatic breathing: (you might not want to call it this, it’s a bit of a long word!) This is a simple but effective breathing exercise that can help children calm down. To do diaphragmatic breathing, have your child sit or lie down comfortably. Place one hand on their chest and the other hand on their stomach. As they breathe in, their stomach should rise and their chest should stay relatively still. As they breathe out, their stomach should fall and their chest should rise.
- Box breathing: This is another simple breathing exercise that can help children calm down. To do box breathing, have your child sit or lie down comfortably. Inhale for a count of four, hold their breath for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, and hold their breath for a count of four. Repeat this cycle for 5-10 minutes.
- Deep breathing: This is a more advanced breathing exercise that can help children relax and focus. To do deep breathing, have your child sit or lie down comfortably. Close their eyes and imagine that they are breathing in fresh, clean air. As they breathe in, they can visualise the air filling up their lungs. As they breathe out, they can visualise the air leaving their lungs. Repeat this cycle for 5-10 minutes.
It is important to note that these are just a few examples of breathing exercises that you can try with your child. There are many other breathing exercises available, so you can find one that works best for your child’s age and needs.
If your child is struggling to learn how to breathe properly, you may want to consult with a therapist or counsellor who specialises in child development. They can help you develop a personalised plan to help your child learn how to breathe properly and use breathing as an emotional control technique.
Here are some additional tips for helping your child learn how to breathe properly:
- Be consistent. The more you practise breathing exercises with your child, the better they will become at it. Try to do breathing exercises with your child at least once a day.
- Make it a positive experience. Breathing exercises should be a positive experience for your child. If they are not enjoying themselves, they are less likely to want to do them.
- Be patient. It may take some time for your child to learn how to breathe properly. Be patient and keep practicing with them.
By following these tips, you can help your child learn how to breathe properly and use breathing as an emotional control technique.
This is a valuable skill that will help them throughout their lives.
Any form of physical, energetic play helps to make children aware of their breathing. Spending time running, jumping, climbing and clambering around our fantastic soft play frames gives children all the exercise they need in a day.
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