7 Healthy Coping Strategies for Children

Anxiety, stress, and grief are all big emotions for children. They may not know how to properly cope with a big change, busy schedule, or sudden loss. It is important to help your child manage their emotions, and one way to help your child is to learn various coping strategies. Of course, they need healthy ways to cope with their situation. Actions that could hurt themselves or others are not healthy coping mechanisms. To help you help your child, here are seven healthy coping strategies for children.

Identify Feelings

The first thing you need to do is help your child identify their feelings. There are times when their feelings are too big for them to pinpoint. Being able to identify their feelings can take a weight off their shoulders.

For example, you may notice your child is dealing with difficulty sleeping, lack of focus, or anger. These are signs of anxiety. If you notice any signs of anxiety in children, you may want to make an appointment with their pediatrician. Once you identify the underlying cause, you can help your child cope with their feelings.

Breathing Exercises

One idea is to teach your child breathing exercises to try when they need to calm down. A good breathing exercise can help your child calm their mind and body when they are upset, angry, or anxious.

You can use different analogies to teach them how to breathe in deeply through their nose and out slowly through their mouth. For example, you can tell them to pretend they are smelling their favorite food and then cooling it off. This way, your child understands how to perform the breathing exercise.

Physical Activity

You most likely know that physical activity releases endorphins in the brain to boost your energy and mood. It can put you in a better mood when you are feeling stressed, anxious or angry. Physical activity has the same impact on children.

When your child needs a way to cope, get them moving with some physical activity. It could be a jump rope, hula-hoop, or trampoline, or you may want to take them to the playground. Another option is to just let them run around the backyard for a while.

Why not let your child blow bubbles? It keeps them moving and encourages deep breathing because you can instruct them to breathe deeply and slowly exhale when blowing the bubbles.

Play a Game

There are times when you need to help your child take their mind off their worries. It may help to play a game with your child. It occupies their mind by keeping them busy. In some cases, it encourages physical activity.

You can sit and relax with a board or card game, or you can play a more physical game such as soccer or basketball. Maybe you want to work together to build a fort in the living room or backyard. Another option is to provide an age-appropriate video game.

Creative Outlet

It is also best to give your child a creative outlet to express themselves. This is a great way to help your child get their thoughts and feelings off their chest.

There are several ways to encourage your child to express themselves. You may want to ask them to draw a picture, work on a craft or create a playlist. You can also provide a journal for them to write and draw in as needed.

Provide Fidget Toys

If your child is constantly fidgeting and moving, it may be a sign of anxiety or stress. Why not provide them with a few fidget toys? A few examples are fidget spinners, bubble poppers, and stress balls.

There are many online retailers and physical stores that carry fidget toys, and you do not have to worry about breaking the bank to treat your child to a new fidget toy.

Practice Self-Care

It is never too early to teach your child how to practice self-care. Self-care is about being in tune with an individual’s mental and physical needs. There are several examples of self-care for children. For example, you can encourage your child to eat healthily, pamper themselves and focus on what makes them happy.


When you take the time to help your children find healthy coping strategies, you are helping them learn how to cope with various situations as they grow older.


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