Breathing Exercises to Help Calm Young Children | Deborah Farmer Kris | 1 Min Read

April 28, 2021

Scream. Stomp. Slam. Quiet.

A fun morning of fort-building with her brother descended into a fight over duct tape, and my daughter fled to her room in tears. While I left her alone for a moment, I remembered a conversation I had with Dr. Marc Brackett, Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. While adults often need wide space to recover when they are in a bad mood, he said, you always have to follow up with kids. They are still learning how to understand and manage their emotions, and it is a parent’s “moral obligation to know what your child is feeling and to support them in developing healthy strategies.”

When I knocked and walked into my daughter’s room, all of her pillows and stuffed animals had been thrown to the floor. It was a good reflection of what was happening on the inside: an emotional storm was passing through! I knew once the storm passed — and it did — I could help her talk through what had happened.

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Deborah Farmer Kris is a senior parenting columnist at Intrepid Ed News. This piece…

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Deborah Farmer Kris

A writer, teacher, parent, and child development expert, Deborah Farmer Kris writes regularly for PBS KIDS for Parents and NPR’s MindShift; her work has been featured several times in The Washington Post; and she is the author of the All the Time picture book series (coming out in 2022) focused on social-emotional growth. A popular speaker, Deborah has a B.A. in English, a B.S. in Education, and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology. Mostly, she loves finding and sharing nuggets of practical wisdom that can help kids and families thrive — including her own. You can follow her on Twitter @dfkris, contact her at [email protected], or visit her website: Parenthood365 (