Try this grounding technique using the 5 senses with your kids when they’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious. There’s even a printable for you to hang up on your wall if it helps!
As we continue diving deeper into various parenting philosophies, namely gentle parenting, I’m always looking for different ways to tackle my kids’ big feelings.
Since we strive to help them feel acknowledged both in their positive and their negative emotions, I’ve found that simply telling them to calm down when they’re dysregulated is not only ineffective, but misses the mark.
Instead, I try my best to focus our attention on acknowledging and accepting the negative moments, and working through them together until they’re calm again. My hope is that they won’t shy away from situations throughout their lives that create tension or negative emotions, but rather, be equipped with the skills necessary to work through these feelings effectively.
There are a few different techniques we use, from singing songs and hugging, to intentional exercises. Below I outlined our 5 senses technique for grounding. Even better, it works for anyone feeling overwhelmed or anxious, no matter the age! I’ve found it to be quite helpful!
Grounding Technique Using your 5 Senses – Perfect for Kids
What is Grounding
Also called earthing, this process can help you feel connected to the earth and present in your body. Those that employ grounding techniques do so to feel relaxed and connected to the present moment. It’s not exclusively used during times of high stress and anxiety, though I’ve found it to be quite effective after “meltdowns.”
How to Ground Yourself
There are different ways you can ground yourself, including:
- Focusing your thoughts on rooting yourself to the earth through your feet
- Placing your hand on the crown of your head and breathing deeply
- Stand like a tree
Using Your 5 Senses, Ground Yourself with your Child
Help your child focus their energy on the following:
- Sight – 5 things they can see
- Touch – 4 things they can feel
- Hearing – 3 things they can hear
- Smell – 2 things they can smell
- Taste – 1 thing they can taste
How to Help Your Child Work Through Anxiety and Overwhelm Using Their 5 Senses
The key is to not rush your child through the process. Give them space to feel and express themselves first. Once they’re ready, talk them through their 5 senses exercise, and you’ll see success! Keep in mind, it might take time for them to understand the value of this technique, and it won’t work every single time. Keep it up! These moments matter, and over time you’ll help build these important coping skills that they will carry with them for life.
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