Three Simple Grounding Strategies
Many children struggle to cope with strong emotions. They can be overwhelming to a child, and calming them down can be very difficult. Teaching a child to handle their thoughts productively doesn’t happen overnight. So we have some simple strategies to help distract them from their worries immediately while the thoughts are happening.
Countdown of all Five Senses
Start with five and countdown to one with each of the senses. Ask your child to name five things they can see, four things they can hear, three things they can smell, two things they can touch, and one thing they can taste. This process distracts their brains from the worries at hand, making them think of each of the five senses.
Countdown of Five Different Specific Items
This strategy has the same idea, only some different questions you can ask about specific items, and it doesn’t cover all five senses. Name five colors you can see, name four shapes you can see, name three soft things you can touch, name two people you can see, and name one book you can see. These specifics can easily be changed to anything that fits your location and surroundings.
Countdown of Five Different Colors
We follow the same concept as the last two countdowns and use colors. Name five blue items you can see, name four red things you can see, name three green items you can see, name two orange items you can see, and name one yellow item you can see. As stated previously, you can use different colors or change the number of the colors in the list based on your surroundings.
Grounding Your Child’s Thoughts
If your child is having difficulty calming down, try these coping strategies. They are simple strategies that help ground their thoughts and emotions to help with coping. As these can help with immediate coping, you will also want to continue working with your child to grow their ability to cope with the intense emotions that come their way long term. There are many other strategies you can follow, and these are some of the most basic and simple ones. Remember, the end goal is to help them examine and be able to reorganize their thoughts. However, we must find a way to minimize the effects of those worries in the meantime.