Like many children, my daughter suffers from anxiety. She has specific triggers and we have worked very hard to keep her calm and get her through tough times.
One thing we were recommended to do was prepare a comfort kit to help her when she is not at home with us. For this comfort kit, we considered the 5 senses. Every one of the 5 senses can help soothe and calm any child and adult.
Find photos of anything that makes you happy. Kittens, beaches or your family are always a good choice.
Put a few of your child’s favourite lozenges or small treat in a comfort kit. My daugther loves watermelon and apples so I always try to pack some in her lunch. Remember that food can be very soothing so if at all possible, pack their favourite snacks when they are away from you.
Squishy balls, stress balls, and others are a very important item to put in a comfort kit. These items are most important to my daughter. She really loves a little spiky and squishy caterpillar that we found at Michael’s. She brings it everywhere with her and takes it out when something is making her anxious.
Scent is very powerful and can take you back to a very safe place. Small scented candles are a great item to add to a comfort kit. Many dollar stores have a wide range of scented candles. I recommend talking to your child about their favourite scents and then going to the store to find a candle that will comfort them if needed.
This is a little more difficult to put in a comfort kit but can absolutely be added if you choose. Many sounds and music can calm and soothe anyone. We have calming spa music on our iPod and have it readily available for my daughter to listen to when she needs it.
Items listed above can be found at a variety of stores. Some are even in your home already. I recommend placing these items in a box or a small case. My daughter’s comfort kit is always in her backpack in case she needs items from it when she’s at school. We always bring it when we go on vacation as well.
Most of these items would not be disruptive in class. In fact, I doubt anyone would notice that she is self-soothing at all if she took out her squishy caterpillar or photo of her pet.
It is very difficult for any parent to see a child suffer from anxiety. I know my heart breaks every time my daughter has a difficult time with her anxiety. The comfort kit we have created for her has really helped.
I’d love to know, do you have a comfort kit for you anxious child? What items are in your anxiety comfort kit?