Teaching your child breathing exercises when they are calm comes in handy when they are not. Breathing helps to bring them back down when they get worked up. It is also a useful tool for pain management such as when they need to get shots. Here are 3 different techniques of breathing exercises that are age specific to toddlers, kids, and teens.
TODDLERS AND YOUNG CHILDREN
Blowing bubbles is a great way to distract a toddler or young child while simultaneously getting them to take some deep breaths.
The 5 finger breathing technique works well for older kids because it engages them with movement and the use of their hands. It can be a useful strategy if they are feeling nervous or upset. Here’s how it works:
- Point with your index finger and place it at the base of the thumb on your opposite hand.
- Take a long deep breath in as you slide the index finger to the tip of your thumb.
- Take a long deep breath out as you slide your index finger down the other side of your thumb.
- Repeat this with all your fingers until you get to the opposite side of your hand.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a bit more discreet and a great options for teens and adults. Here’s how to do it:
- Take a deep breath in while counting to 4
- Hold your breathe while counting to 7
- Take a long deep breath out while counting to 8
* As a side note, the 4-7-8 technique can help you remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds. Just add 1 more second at the end as you take your next breath in.
PRACTICE BREATHING ROUTINELY
Try making these 3 breathing exercises for toddlers, kids, and teens part of your family’s daily routine. You can have them do a breathing exercise before bed to help calm them. Once they have mastered the breathing technique, they can draw on this skill when they are faced with a challenging situation.