Dr. Lucy Russell, is a clinical child psychologist, and most of the children she work with at her clinic show symptoms of anxiety. Grounding exercises are wonderful tools that can help children feel safe and “rooted” when fears or worries become overwhelming.
Grounding is like a magic trick. They are very simple techniques which help shift a child’s mental focus from scary or negative emotions to their senses in the present moment.
If your child is prone to panic attacks, grounding exercises should be one of the first techniques they learn and become skilled in.
Grounding Exercises For Kids: Engaging the Senses
Let’s dive into the heart of these exercises – the five senses.
Engaging the senses anchors children firmly in the now. It’s not so much a question of moving away from uncomfortable feelings or strong emotions, or trying to avoid them.
It’s more about giving children the choice to focus their attention in a different area. It gives them power over the feelings, rather than feeling controlled by them.
This change of focus allows children to sit with the difficult feelings until they pass.
Dr. Russell recommends supporting your child to try a variety of simple grounding techniques.
They will discover what fits with their unique needs and tastes. Their preferred grounding techniques can then be more easily integrated into daily life.
Understanding Grounding Exercises for Kids
“Speaking from my experience as a clinical psychologist, I can’t stress enough the importance of grounding exercises for children. Consider them as a powerful tool in their emotional toolkit.”
Children today grapple with a myriad of feelings, some of which may feel intensely overwhelming.
Learning to manage these emotions with grounding exercises can be a real game-changer.
Introducing these simple grounding techniques to children from a young age is like planting a seed of resilience. With time, this seed will grow into a range of healthy coping mechanisms.
Just as we equip our children with life skills like swimming or riding a bike, grounding techniques are a skill for their emotional wellbeing. These skills will not only assist them through their youth but provide a strong foundation of emotional resilience they can draw on throughout their lives.