• Phoebe Davenport

Teach your child breath work to help them regulate their emotions, in seven simple steps

Updated: Nov 25, 2021

These simple steps can be helpful for all children at any age. It will help them gain control over themselves and once learned it will help them navigate the world around them as a calm and emotionally aware child

Diaphragmatic breathing, or Belly Breathing, is used in some ancient practices like yoga and has proven benefits on our nervous system. Belly Breathing can be a great way to calm the emotions of your child too. Emotions are difficult to manage for very young children. It may seem like your child is behaving irrationally, but they are just having a hard time of communicating their feelings and managing their emotions. Belly Breathing can equally be beneficial for older school children and teenagers.

Below are some easy ways to learn breathing exercises to help your child self-regulate and keep themselves calm so they can correctly identify their feelings and emotions. It will give them the insight to make better choices and the ability to respond to challenges. And it can even help them to communicate more clearly about their feelings and emotions!

1. Collect some feathers or some white pappus Dandelions. Hold one up close to your face and blow on this. Let your child watch you for a few breaths.

2. Breathe out of your nose and breathe in through your mouth making the feather or Dandelion move with your breath

3. Explain to your child that they should take a deep breath, and tell them to put their hand on their stomach, and that when they breathe in they should feel their stomach expand and lift their hand.

4. Now ask them to lift the Dandelion or Feather to their face and say they should see it move or flutter when they exhale.

5. Counting our breath can be a great way to extend and measure our breathing. Once your child is ready after watching their breath and experiencing their hand raising and stomach expanding. Tell them to count their inhales and their exhales so they are equal. You can ask them to start with counting to a low number like 4 and extend this to 8, 9 or even 10. Do this exercise for ten minutes so you both feel relaxed.

6. Explain to your child that breathing like this can calm us down and help us refocus our attention.

7. Tell your child that they can use this Belly Breathing exercises whenever they would like to, and that this exercise can be helpful if they are feeling a strong emotion

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