A clever technique to calm after school meltdowns

Have your little ones ever had an ‘after school meltdown’? 

An after school meltdown is when your child pretty much falls apart when they get home from school. They cry, they shout, they are angry, frustrated and you have no idea why! 

Well, It takes a great deal of energy, mental motivation, emotional containment, and physical control to hold it together all day at school. So, when they get home, they sometimes just let it all out.

I made the mistake of asking my daughter if she’d had a good day. ‘Yessss’, she hissed at me. I then asked her another question about her day and she just lost it, ‘STOP ASKING ME A MILLION QUESTIONS’ (just for the record, I asked two!) and then she threw herself on the floor recalling all the things (in her whole life) that had made her feel sad (she even recalled something from over a year ago!).

Nothing I could say or do was helping. She didn’t want dinner, she did want dinner. She wanted a drink, she didn’t want a drink. You get the picture.

What she needed was some time on her own (without me asking questions), some time to relax, to feel calm, to rest her brain. Luckily, I have created that space for her.

Deep breathing

In my classes I use a hoberman sphere (my breathing ball) to guide the children and to help us with our deep belly breaths. As I expand the ball we breathe in deeply through the nose; filling our lungs with air. As the ball closes we breathe out slowly through the mouth, relaxing our whole body. It’s a really great visual for the children to relate to.

My daughter loves it so I set one up in her bedroom so she can lie down and take some deep breaths whenever she needs to. She took herself there tonight and lay on the bed breathing for ages. 

Her breathing was really fast at first and I could see her body was super tense. After a few deep breaths I really noticed her whole body (and brain) relax. Her voice got calmer and her legs relaxed. I managed to sneak in and film the end. 

She was a totally different (relaxed) child after this and she even wanted to tell me about her day afterwards!! 

Children can be introduced to breathing to help them relax at a very young age. They can use their breath to improve concentration, promote well-being, and decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. This is an easy way to empower children to manage their feelings and emotions. Children (and parents) will benefit from the added calmness. We did.

[Please ensure you follow any fitting instructions when attaching a hoberman sphere to the ceiling. Please be mindful this will leave string hanging from the ceiling – adult supervision may be required]

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