It is super easy for children to get overwhelmed and go into overload, this is regardless of whether or not they have any additional needs. Even as grown ups we find it hard to regulate our emotions at times. In an effort to help we have created When you Want to Roar, Breathe like a Dinosaur.

There are many reasons why children end up overwhelmed, for some it is just a part of being a child. Life is exciting, confusing and all together a lot to take n for all of us. For other kids, it might be they suffer with anxiety, have diagnosed conditions that make their emotions huge and hard to manage, or get sensory overload.

breathe like a dinosaur
Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

When this happens it can be a quick progression from your loving little angel, to a child in full overload mode. This can come in the form of panic attacks, tantrums, outbursts, extreme behaviour and at times aggression. It’s not easy to see your child struggle with anything in life and finding an way to help them manage their feelings can be tough to say the least.

With our experience of children who have additional needs in this area on a personal level, we have found that distraction and calming techniques can often help your child in these moments of high emotion.


breathe like a dinosaur
Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

Breathing exercises can be great help in these situations, but it can be difficult to get a child interested enough to use them, or even remember them when their feelings are heightened. Thinking from a personal perspective, we considered what would get the children we have in our lives more engaged and wanting to use these ideas. This is how Breathe Like a Dinosaur came into being.

Breathe Like a Dinosaur uses a technique called square breathing.

  • Breathe in for 4 seconds
  • Hold for 4 seconds
  • Breathe out for 4 seconds
  • and pause for 4 seconds
  • repeat as necessary.

This helps to focus the mind on a specific activity, which in itself helps calm as it distracts from the distressing emotions. Then the controlled breathing aids lowering heart rate, easing the mind and reducing the symptoms that we get when faced with overwhelming feelings. Once calmer, you are then able to deal with the trigger, for yourself, or help your child understand theirs and work through their feelings.

We’ve tried to make the video bright, colourful and above all fun, whilst being calming. When You Want To Roar will be available to watch as often as you like on this page, but we are also providing a free download of it over on our Free Resources Page. Please do let us know in the comments, or on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, what your children thought of Breathe Like a Dinosaur and feel free to share our post on any of our accounts!

Please note all downloads are the property of The Wonderment and for personal use only. They not to be sold, distributed, altered or presented as your own in any way. Thank you!

About Author

Erika is bright, bubbly and friendly. Studying to be a counsellor, she is committed to helping others in the pursuit of better mental health. Having suffered from mental health issues herself including severe anxiety and PTSD, she wants to show others that the light at the end of the tunnel is not just a cliché!
Erika enjoys spending time with her little one, friends and family, crafting, reading, writing, music gaming, cooking, creating art, cacti and llamas.

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