Children need an adults help to calm down.  Placing them in Time Out and isolating them is not the best way to teach children to calm down.  Sometimes the time they need us the most, when they are experiencing strong emotions like anger and frustration, is the time we choose to be with them the least.  Here are some ways to help your child calm down.  Be with them and use some of these tools.  Create a Time-In place with some of these available and go with your child.  Do if with your child in the heat of the moment and then talk about it after he has calmed down.  Teach him the tools.   Make sure that you’ve used them first to calm yourself down enough to be a helper to your child!




Listen to music

Positive self talk

Talk to a friend


Shsshhhhing sound



Watch an aquarium

Read a book

See feelings floating away

Visualize yourself in a calm place or meditate



Write in a journal

Make something

Draw a picture

Write poetry

Write a letter or email but don’t send


Self Nurturing

Get a hug

Bubble bath

Drink from a water bottle

Eat a snack

Go out with other people

Be alone



Silent scream or scream into a pillow.

Squeeze stress or hackeysack balls

Play playdough

Play lego or knex

Clean room, closet or yard

Knead bread, weed garden, vacuum

Dance, rollerblade, bike, throw ball, walk

Shake off feelings

Breathe in calmness, breathe out slowly

Stomp, Run Jump





Make a joke out of the situation

Read a funny book

Watch funny videos 


Adapted from “Helping Your Child Deal With Disappointment”, By Elizabeth Crary, Published By Parenting Press, 2004