An amazing kiddo that I work with taught me a new calming strategy that can be used at while sitting in a chair. I love this idea for two BIG reasons. First, it can be done at school without being disruptive. Second, it can be done discreetly – I have worked with lots of kids who don’t want people to see/know that they’re trying to calm down.
So the strategy is called “push-pull-dangle” and there are 3 steps.
- Put your hands on the top of your chair seat and push as hard as you can. Depending on how long your arms are and how strong you are, your bottom might come off the seat.
- Put your fingertips on the underside of your chair and pull, so that you’re pulling your bottom/body into your chair seat.
- Let your arms dangle loosely at your side.
This seems to be a form of a muscle tension/relaxation calming strategy – you tense your muscles by pushing and pulling, then relax them by letting them dangle.
Give it a try yourself, and maybe teach it to your kiddo to give them another tool to use to help them stay calm when overwhelmed with negative emotions!