Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Sunshine Parenting

Oct 18, 2019

I've had such an incredible time this fall meeting with parents, teachers, and kids in person to talk about some of the strategies I write about in my book, Happy Campers.

One topic that comes up regularly is the importance of learning to keep ourselves calm and model calm down strategies for our kids, as well as helping our kids figure out their own calm down strategies.

In this episode, I am sharing my ideas and tips on

Big Ideas

  • Synonyms & Antonyms for Calm
  • For most of us, our level of calm seems to depend on our personality.
  • Learning to self-regulate and manage anger can really have lasting positive effects.

Flipping Our Lids

What's Your Favorite Calm Down Strategy?


Learning to Breathe

Deep Breathing (Web MD)

Most people take short, shallow breaths into their chest. It can make you feel anxious and zap your energy. With this technique, you'll learn how to take bigger breaths, all the way into your belly.

• Get comfortable. You can lie on your back in bed or on the floor with a pillow under your head and knees. Or you can sit in a chair with your shoulders, head, and neck supported against the back of the chair.
• Breathe in through your nose. Let your belly fill with air.
• Breathe out through your nose.
• Place one hand on your belly. Place the other hand on your chest.
• As you breathe in, feel your belly rise. As you breathe out, feel your belly lower. The hand on your belly should move more than the one that's on your chest.
• Take three more full, deep breaths. Breathe fully into your belly as it rises and falls with your breath.

Box Breathing (Medical News Today)

Box breathing is a simple technique that a person can do anywhere, including at a work desk or in a cafe. Before starting, people should sit with their back supported in a comfortable chair and their feet on the floor.

Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs.
Hold your breath inside while counting slowly to four. Try not to clamp your mouth or nose shut. Simply avoid inhaling or exhaling for 4 seconds.
Begin to slowly exhale for 4 seconds.
Repeat steps 1 to 3 at least three times. Ideally, repeat the three steps for 4 minutes, or until calm returns.
If someone finds the technique challenging to begin with, they can try counting to three instead of four. Once someone is used to the technique, they may choose to count to five or six.

Breathing Beads

Five Finger Breathing



5 Tips to Start Running
Run Happy

Creating a Special Calm-Down Retreat Space ("Chill Spot" or "Recombobulation Area") with a Favorite Calming Activity

Some items you might want in your calm-down space:

Coloring or drawing supplies
Craft supplies (beading, knitting, crocheting, needle point, etc.)
A puzzle
Meditation or Prayer Book
Journal or journaling paper
Music (with or without headphones)
Musical Instrument (if you play)

Listening to Some Soothing Music

Take some deep breaths
Learning to Breathe
Good Things Come to Those Who Breathe

Piano Relaxation (Spotify)
Relaxing Classical (Spotify)

Accessing a Different, More Positive Emotion



My "Funny Stuff" Board on Pinterest (Warning: My kids say this stuff is only funny to me.)

Asking for a Hug


Loosening up


Audrey: "It's important to be self-aware and know what our personality and setpoint is ... 8.m4a

Audrey: "When our kids see us ...9.m4a