How to Calm Down a Child When They’re Having a Meltdown

May 6, 2022

Depending on when you’re reading this article, chances are good that you’re spending a whole lot more time than usual with your child.

It’s a scary and confusing time for adults and children alike, and it’s easy for tempers to flare, and children to become upset or confused at the drop of a hat. So I figured that now was a great time to solicit advice on how to calm down a child when they’re scared, frustrated, or flat out having a meltdown.


Theresa Bertuzzi, Co-Founder of Tiny Hoppers

Sometimes your child is having a meltdown, and you’re at a loss of what to do. As parents are spending more time at home with their children, it is crucial to find useful techniques that help calm them down.

We often underestimate the power of taking big deep breaths. Sit your child down and guide them through deep breathing exercises. Repeat to them, “deep breath in (hold), deep breath out (exhale),” they will replicate this behaviour. This way, your child can take a few minutes to gather their thoughts and feelings to express them in a non-hurtful way.

Designate a place where they can go to sit down and calm down. This place is not meant to be treated like a “time out” space, as children will associate this as a negative thing. Creating a peaceful spot for your child to de-stress is a fantastic way for them to take a moment and reflect.

Direct your child’s attention to something else. If you’re a kid that has been cooped up inside for hours and is having a meltdown, go outside and get your body moving. The brain will clear itself of negative emotions and flood with endorphins.

It is essential to teach your child to think before speaking (especially if they’re angry). This is a compelling skill to start developing as a child! Taking a pause and just counting in your head, whether it be to 10 or 100, will prevent blurring out regretful things.

As there are many music platforms available to us, it is vital to take advantage of them. Create a playlist with happy and calming music. When your child is practicing their deep breathing or in their space, play some music. It is a powerful and calming tool that is always handy to have. It might also be as simple as hugging your child. Children often have meltdowns because they are looking for attention from their loved ones. Squeeze them tight and tell them that everything will be okay.

Finding a technique (or multiple) that will work for your child will require some trial and error. By continuing to practice together, you will surely find what works best for your child!

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