4 Easy Steps to Calm a Stressed Child

Barbara Neiman, OTR, Sheila Lewis

It’s no secret that children need help learning how to self-regulate when they’re feeling distress or are upset, especially children with ADHD, autism or sensory disorders.

If you work with children who struggle with self-regulation, mind-body strategies that use yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and guided imagery can be especially effective, and often fun, for the child to gain their composure. We really love these techniques because they’re easy to teach and the families you work with can use them at home, in the grocery store, or wherever life takes them.

Use this activity, called The Steps, from our new My Calm Place card deck.

  1. Ask the child to put their head on stacked fists.
  2. Visualize walking down 20 steps.
  3. With each step, inhale and exhale.
  4. Rest at the last step and breathe for 10 counts.

Download a FREE copy of The Steps


My Calm Place has over 50 strategies to work through stressful moments and prevent them in the future. These easy practices can be an effective, creative and fun way to find emotional balance whenever kids are extra squirmy, have trouble keeping focus, or need a few minutes to settle their mind.

Barbara Neiman, OTR, is an Integrative Occupational Therapist, Yoga Teacher 200RYT in Embodyoga®, a coach for professionals seeking a holistic practice and a National Seminar Presenter. She founded her company, Health Discovery, to provide services for infants through school age children. As a Certified Practitioner of Body Mind Centering® since 1989, Barbara has taught experiential hands on, movement, and meditation classes. She offers training to schools and businesses on applying yogic interventions to classrooms and corporate settings to reduce stress, improve focus and self-acceptance.

Sheila Lewis writes curriculum for national organizations, has designed over 60 badge programs for Girl Scouts USA, tutors, and runs book clubs for middle grade students, using whole brain strategies. On the faculty of JCC Manhattan since 2005, she teaches meditation classes, creativity and writing workshops. She is the co-author of Stress-proofing Your Child. As the mother of two grown sons, one on the autism spectrum, she has been a parent advocate on various committees.

Topic: Self-Regulation

Tags: ADHD | Autism | Sensory Disorders

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