Distracting Coping Skills


Last week, I posted about using physical coping skills to help your child deal with strong feelings or help get out extra energy, read it here. This week, I'm focusing on coping skills that help distract kids. Sometimes when your child is dealing with difficult feelings, the best thing you can do is find an activity they enjoy to distract them. It’s a great way to cope, especially when there are things that are out of their control or if you need to get their mind off a tough situation.

My recommendation is to identify what coping skills would be most enjoyable for your kids before they need to use them. Keep a list somewhere, like the fridge or on their wall, for easy access when you need it. Here are some suggestions that kids have mentioned to me over the years.

  • Crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles or Word Find Puzzles

  • Cook or Bake

  • Do a random act of kindness for someone -  Here are some ideas for random acts of kindness for families.

  • Play an instrument

  • Read a book

  • Creating something - You could use many kinds of materials to create something.  It could be as simple as drawing or writing, or you could venture into the world of Rainbow Loom (my daughter’s obsession since last year)!  Knitting, quilting, crocheting, cross stitch and sewing are also popular ways to create something. Try it out!

  • Sing

  • Listen to music or create playlists that you can listen to later

  • Clean - Hard to believe, I know, but this really does help some kids. I think there’s something about being able to control the amount of cleanliness around you when you can’t control other things in your life.

  • Play a board game

  • Play video games

  • Watch TV

  • Go to the movies

  • Go on the computer

Read the first and last post of the series here: Calming Coping Skills and Processing Coping Skills

Looking for more ideas and products to teach your child coping skills?

Take a look at our sister site, Coping Skills for Kids!

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