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A very effective strategy for helping kids to calm down is called "3 + 10." You might want to print the formula on large pieces of paper and hang them all around your house. Then tell the child how to use the formula: "As soon as you feel your body sending you a warning sign that says you're losing control, do two things.
First, take 3 deep slow breaths from your tummy." (Model this with your child. Show her how to take a deep breath then tell her to pretend she's riding an escalator. Start at the bottom step and as you take the breath, ride up the escalator slowly. Hold it! Now ride slowly down the escalator releasing your breath steadily at the same time). "That's 3.
Now count slowly to ten inside your head. That's 10. Put them all together, it's 3 + 10 and it helps you calm down."
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|