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My Kids

Cool-down corner

Most of us are familiar with time-outs. Time-outs are dictated by parents and used to discipline. Cool-downs are not time-outs. They’re a self-regulation tool for kids to use themselves to prevent the need for a time-out.

STEP 1

Choose an area at home to place a set of tools and call it the “Cool-Down Corner” (or “Cool-Down Spot,” etc.). These tools can include a small pillow, slime, putty or play doh, fidget spinners, a soft blanket, paper and crayons, a fan, a pinwheel (great for breathing exercises!), and any other ideas you may have.

STEP 2

Introduce the Cool-Down Corner to your child by modeling how to use the tools while explaining what we’re feeling. For instance, we can say “I’m feeling frustrated. I’m gonna go to the Cool-Down Corner and try drawing for a while.” After a while, we can say that we feel better, ask if we can get a hug, and resume our tasks and our day.

STEP 3

The goal of the Cool-Down Corner is to help our child recognize the need to regulate on their own, and to gradually learn to use the tools to manage their big emotions in safe, healthy ways.