Instead of putting your child in “Time Out,” try creating a Calm Down Space for them. My daughter has ADHD and as many of you parents of special needs children know, our children have a lot of feelings, which can result in a lot of emotional meltdowns. Even if your child doesn’t have special needs, having a calming and comfortable place for them to go to when they are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated is a very good idea.
Where should the Calm Down Space be?
Decide with your child where their Calm Down Space will be located. Some children like to be alone and away from other people and noise while other children like to be somewhat close to others and can still hear some noise. Wherever it is, make sure it is in a safe place where you can easily get access to them.
What do I put in the Calm Down Space?
Fill the space with something comfortable for your child to sit and/or lay down. A child-sized pull-out couch works great for this purpose and a lot of them have cartoon characters featured on them. Other options are a bean bag chair or even a large pillow. Add some of your child’s favorite stuffed animals/characters to keep him or her company too. As I mentioned in the video, my daughter’s favorite movie is Inside Out, so I used that to my advantage and provided her with the talking Joy and Sadness dolls. I like them a lot, because they say quotes from the movie that provide a positive spin on things.
As you know, meltdowns come with tears, so make sure there is a box of tissues nearby or else you are going to have a pretty nasty snot-smeared shirt to wash afterwards.
The most important item in the Calm Down Space is the Toolbox, which is filled with calming aids to help soothe your child and clear their head.
What will YOU put in your child’s Calm Down Space?
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