These are words we frequently hear for stress management but we don’t always remember to engage in deep breathing in high stress and high anxiety situations. This is especially true for children. As parents, teachers and caregivers, encouraging children to take slow, deep breaths when stressed or angry can sometimes be met with resistance.
What is usually more helpful, is teaching deep breathing to children when they are calm and relaxed and helping them practice the skill so that it is familiar and easier to perform when stressed. I recommend watching a YouTube video with your children entitled “Just Breathe” by Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman. It is less than 4 minutes long and is especially engaging for children since children are featured in the video.
The metaphor of glitter in a jar to a person’s emotional state is especially helpful for children who sometimes have difficulty understanding abstract concepts, such as emotions. Encouraging children to focus on the movement of glitter in a snow globe when they are feeling upset might also be helpful. As the glitter settles, so can the child’s heightened emotional state, promoting calm. You might find that it helps you, too.