Parenting can be complicated at times, especially if your child’s feelings are uncontrollable. When you have a nervous child, you see him suffer and you want to do anything—anything—to calm him down. In this article, we’ll discuss 3 ways to calm your nervous child.
Psychology Ways to Calm Your Nervous Child: Some Things to Keep in Mind
- Certain techniques will work better than others. It very much depends on your own personality, your child’s personality and your relationship with him. That’s why it’s important to try different techniques until you find one that works best for you.
- Stay calm throughout the process. This is crucial. If your child is nervous or anxious, he needs you to reassure him that everything will be fine. To help yourself with this, you may want to try breathing exercises or meditation before trying to calm your child.
- Keep in mind that any technique, no matter how good it may be, takes patience to succeed. These techniques are meant to ease your child’s nervousness or anxiety, not work a miracle. Sometimes emotions are simply too intense. In these cases, it is your responsibility to wait for the storm to pass and support your child in the meantime.
Way 1: name it
There is a common problem many children have with their rampant emotions. They see these emotions as powerful — but also terrifying. From this follows the first of the three psychological ways to calm your nervous child.
Of all the ways to calm your nervous child, this one may be the simplest. All you have to do is ask your child to come up with a weird or funny name for the unpleasant feelings he is experiencing. It is important that the name is absolutely not threatening.
Once your child has found a name that they are happy with, the next step is to send the emotions away. For example, if your child decides to name his emotion “Guus,” he might then say one of the following:
- ‘Leave me alone, Guus!’
- ‘Guus, I feel bad because of you. Stop!’
By giving his feelings a (weird) name and talking to them out loud , your child takes the power away from his emotions. This will help him calm down a lot faster.
Way 2: listen to your child
When someone tells you about their problems, your first instinct is probably to help them. However, this impulse is not always helpful with regard to children. They act less rationally than adults. So using logic to explain that everything is okay won’t work as well as you might expect.
Trying to show or explain to your child that nothing is really going on can make him even more nervous. Instead, try to actively listen to him while hugging or kissing him. In general, if your child feels heard and protected, their fear will subside almost immediately.
Way 3: Give your child something that offers comfort
Several studies have shown that it is possible to associate an object with a certain emotion. For example, if your child has a special stuffed animal or blanket, use it and take advantage of it!
Recent studies demonstrate that sleeping with a stuffed toy helps children with nightmares. This same principle also applies in many other situations. If your child is scared on his first day of school, wouldn’t it be a good idea to let him bring something to school that will make him happy? If this item is small enough, other children won’t even notice that your child is carrying something extra.
This method works even better if you explain to your child what you are trying to achieve with this. Ask him to choose one thing that will help him when he is having a hard time. That way, your child plays a bigger role in this process. The effect will thus be enhanced.