Hot Topics     Home and Family     Healthy Kids    

Creating a calm down corner



Experts say a change of scenery is better than a time out

Experts say a change of scenery is better than a time out


Although my son is twenty-two years old, his mother and I still recall his “baby rage.” He was a very sweet infant and toddler, but, like all small humans, he occasionally got incredibly furious, and would wail and growl like an animal. Because he was mostly preverbal, talking to him was fruitless. We tried time-outs for a short while, but that didn’t work for us. More often than not, if we were at home, we would just let him rage, watching from the doorway until he exhausted himself. If it happened in public, we would remove him from the company of other people. If it was on a plane… I don’t want to talk about that.

When we were in our tiny apartment – most of the times he would rage – it never occurred to us to do what Donna Housman, Ed.D, clinical child psychologist and founder of the Boston-based Housman Institute, advises in Christen Perry’s recent Parents.com article: create a “calm down corner.” (In retrospect, we could conceivably have done this in the kitchen.)

“A calm-down corner is an area where a child who is experiencing heightened emotions may go to engage their minds, calm their bodies and release strong emotions in a safe and controlled manner," Housman says.

READ MORE: Soothing a strong-willed child

Perry adds: “It's important to understand that a calm-down corner is not the same thing as putting your child in time out. Instead, it's a place he can go to calm down when he notices his emotions are starting to spiral out of control. A calm-down corner might be as simple as a space with a soft mat and a bucket of books, or as elaborate as a fancy fort with colorful art on the walls and baskets full of sensory activities. And of course, it doesn't have to be a corner. The key is to find what helps your child feel calm and balanced again, in a space that's removed from the chaos and noise of the rest of the house.”

Allie Finkel, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and co-owner of Kind Minds Therapy in New York City, says a calm-down corner “can teach little ones improved self confidence, independence, and self-insight.”

These proponents of the calm-down corner promise your child will soon realize on their own when they need it, and will go there of their own accord, regulating emotions on their own, with no need of scolding, punishment, or solitary confinement.



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Safety tips to follow when using gas or charcoal grills

    Following safety procedures when grilling can reduce injury and save lives

    Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer for many New Yorkers, and with it, the start of the grilling season. As New Yorkers get ready to fire up their grills this Memorial Day weekend, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) reminds consumers to consider some important safety tips for safe summer barbecues. read more »
  • Tips to help avoid moving scams

    Be aware of deceptive business practices

    For this week’s “Tuesday’s Tips,” the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection provides consumers with important tips to avoid scams when moving. Moving your belongings can be a stressful process, and unfortunately scammers use these situations to defraud consumers out of thousands of dollars by using deceptive business practices. read more »
  • 4 things parents and youth athletes should know about concussions

    Every person and every concussion is different

    Despite the attention drawn to the topic of concussions over the past decade, it can be difficult to find readily available answers about what parents and young athletes should do after sustaining a concussion. read more »
  • How to keep feet and ankles in tip top shape this summer

    Experts offer tips for you and your family

    Summer fun and chores alike come with potential hazards to feet. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, here’s how to protect feet and ankles from the most common seasonal hazards. read more »
  • Confused by nutrition labels? You’re not alone

    How to read the packaging on your groceries

    Shopping for groceries can be like navigating a maze: so many choices in every aisle, food packages covered in marketing claims, and little direction on what is truly healthy and what isn’t. People want to make healthy choices for themselves and their families, but how can they when the information available to them can be so overwhelming? read more »
  • Thoughtful gift ideas for Mother's Day

    Make your mom smile on her special day

    To show your mom just how much she means to you, choose a Mother’s Day gift that reflects her interests and passions. As you’re looking for the perfect gift, consider these thoughtful ideas that will touch her heart. read more »
  • How high-speed internet can help spark community vitality

    Let's get internet everywhere

    Most Americans consider high-speed internet an essential household service. Yet in rural America, an estimated 25% of the population doesn’t have broadband access, limiting their economic growth and access to career opportunities and resources such as education and health care. read more »
  • Girls on the Run launches new curriculum

    Meeting the needs of today's girls

    Girls on the Run International (GOTRI), a nationally recognized nonprofit that empowers young girls, has launched its new research-based curriculum intentionally designed to meet the needs of today's girls. Entitled Hello, Superstar!, the innovative curriculum helps girls build the confidence to be themselves through meaningful and engaging lessons and activities that keep them moving. read more »
  • From awareness to action: Learning.com's commitment to supporting healthy relationships with technology for kids

    Learning.com shares resources aimed at creating positive digital experiences for children

    As the world observes Mental Health Awareness Month this May, Learning.com, a leading provider of digital literacy solutions, is taking proactive steps to address a pressing issue: the need for young learners to develop healthy relationships with technology. Recognizing that banning technology isn't the solution, Learning.com is engaging educators and parents in the conversation and providing free tools and resources during the month of May aimed at supporting the creation of positive digital experiences for children. Through an informative webinar with experts in the field on May 21, Learning.com will foster discussions that aim to help students build healthy relationships with technology. read more »
  • 4 trends showing mental health is a continued challenge for Americans

    People with outward appearances of success, productivity and happiness often still deal with internal struggles. Mental health challenges continue to affect Americans, with nearly 3 of 4 (73%) U.S. adults reporting struggles with mental health in 2023. read more »