6 Effective Ways to Help Your Child Self-Soothe During the Holidays

The holiday season often inspires a wild rollercoaster of emotions in children. As wonderful and exciting as the holidays may be, it can also be a time of overstimulation for children aged 4-11, leading to stress and anxiety.

To help children self-soothe during this time, here are 6 effective tips:

Lead by example. Children learn by observing adults, so modeling self-soothing techniques like deep breathing and stretching can help them manage stress1

Deep breathing. Guide children through deep breathing exercises to help them manage and reduce stress and anxiety1, 2

Use 5 senses. Teach children to use their senses to calm down, such as visualizing a peaceful place, listening to calming music, or cuddling in a soft blanket


Help kids stay calm with these beautiful activities!

For children in grades K-2:

Learning emotional vocabulary and building self-reliance has never been more important.

Use these fun activities to help young children learn to express their feelings in a healthy way, nurturing successful relationships in the home, classroom, and on the playground!

Easy download!




Affirm calmness. Encourage children to use empowering phrases or mantras to replace negative thoughts, such as “I am calm, strong, capable, and loved”

Make space for calm. Create a designated “Calm Down Space” in your home where children can retreat when they feel overwhelmed

Be patient. It’s important to be patient when helping children learn self-soothing techniques, as it may take time for them to effectively implement these strategies



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As you can see, staying calm is something you can do together with your child! By incorporating these tips, children can develop effective coping skills and manage their emotions in a healthy way, even during the often chaotic holiday season.

What’s your favorite way to calm down and self-soothe?

Thank you for reading!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about social-emotional learning (SEL). Please reach out with your stories, advice, and ideas. We’re partners in SEL education.

Serving the well-being of kids, their parents, and educators,

Rayne Lacko

Author of Dream Up Now: The Teen Journal for Creative Self-Discovery (FreeSpirit Publications)

A Song for the Road, a YA novel (SparkPress)