Nervous Nelly: 4 Easy Tips to Calm Your Kids’ Nerves Fast

Is your child a bit of a nervous Nelly in certain situations? We can totally relate! We’re sharing four easy and practical parenting tips to help calm your kids’ nerves fast. Read on to check them out!

Got a nervous nelly on your hands? Check out 4 easy parenting tips that will help calm your kids’ nerves fast!


My four-year-old son will talk to just about anybody, but when it comes time for the kids’ sermon every Sunday, I watch as he sits at the front of the sanctuary, looking like he would rather be anywhere else. I think he’s not fond of knowing that all those eyes are on him and the other kids at the front of the church, but he will talk to each of those people individually and on his own terms without hesitation.

Even the most confident child deals with nerves in certain situations. Some kids are unfortunately prone to being nervous or anxious much of the time. Wherever your child falls on the scale of nerves, no parent likes to see his or her child struggle. Below are some tips to try to help calm your kids’ nerves fast.

Parenting tips to help calm your kids’ nerves

  1. Identify the problem. One of my favorite things my son learned in preschool last year was to “do the turtle” (a PBIS tactic). While the turtle is a behavioral support to deal with anger, I think it easily applies to anxiety, as well. The steps are: 1. Stop, 2. Take a deep breath, and 3. State the problem. This practice in an anxiety situation teaches your child to recognize the signs of anxiety as they arrive, breathe through them, and determine the root of why he is feeling anxious. I have done this myself, and it’s surprising how much I have to root around inside my emotions to figure out specifically why I’m feeling anxious. Once I figure it out, though, I can do something about it!
  1. Just breathe. There really is something to counting to 10 when you need a break from a stressful situation. Simply breathing does wonders to ease stress and anxiety, and it’s an easy practice to teach your kids. Regularly practicing deep-breathing will allow your child to know just what to do when a case of nerves pops up.
  1. Explain the physiology of anxiety. Emotions can be scary for young kids. They feel big feelings, and they don’t quite understand what’s going on. If you’ve got a child who asks “Why?” all the time, explain what happens when they feel anxious. Having a better understanding of what is going on inside her body and why may help your daughter better sort through her nerves. Keep it simple, and say something like “Our bodies are really cool! When we feel worried about something, our brains respond by creating a chemical called adrenalin so we are prepared to be strong and fight off whatever is making us worried. By telling our brains everything is okay, we can calm down and stop feeling uneasy. Deep breaths help!” Here is a great description of what happens to your body during anxiety for a little more information to shape your conversation with your child.
  1. Create an action plan. If there is a certain situation that causes anxiety in your child, sit down together and come up with a plan to ward off the anxiety. Write down the steps and talk through them regularly. If your child, like my son, doesn’t like being in front of a lot of people, perhaps your action plan is a rock in his pocket that he can hold on to when he’s feeling nervous, make eye contact with people he knows in the audience, and sit or stand next to someone he knows well so he is more comfortable.

Helping your child learn coping skills for nerves now will make a big impact on how she handles stress and anxiety for the rest of her life. Don’t forget – in order for these parenting tips to be really effective, your child has to see you positively handle anxiety, too! Why not give some of these tips a try yourself? Let us know how it goes!

Do you have any other parenting tips to soothe kids’ nerves fast? Share below!

17 thoughts on “Nervous Nelly: 4 Easy Tips to Calm Your Kids’ Nerves Fast”

  1. Love the tips. Thank you! Our sweet girl is so nervous around new people & doing new things. These are awesome tips!!

  2. Christina Almond

    Really good tips! My son was very shy and sometimes nervous when he was little and really talking to him about how he was feeling worked wonders!

  3. This is so terrifically helpful to me right now. I have a very anxious and highly sensitive child, and I’ve been working with him on identifying his triggers and self-regulating. These tips are great! So many of us forget to ask what the problem is before we start trying to solve it.

  4. My youngest daughter is definitely a child who needs reassuring due to her nerves. I’ve found that taking the time to talk about situations multiple times prior to experiencing them has helped us.

  5. My kids both struggled with anxiety when they were younger. These are great tips so parents can help their children.

  6. Such great tips for kids (and adults) alike. When my daughter was little, she had a lot of anxiety. One thing I found that helped was essential oils. Lavender especially helped her relax. x

  7. These are great tips for kids with anxiety. It’s important to teach them that it will be ok and that they aren’t alone.

  8. No different from us adults. Great tips and ideas to help any child over come first few weeks of school and all it brings into their lives.

  9. I think there’s anxious and then there’s truly anxious. I recall seeing children that were truly anxious when I was younger, their parents would force them to do competitive sports. They were truly anxious and it was really sad to see.

  10. Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen

    These tips really do help when kids have anxiety. It’s best to teach them how to handle the anxiety in a healthy way when they’re young. That way, as they grow it doesn’t get overwhelming and out of control.

  11. A plan is a great way to help calm them down. I get nervous about a lot of things, which is why I am a planner myself.

  12. These are some great tips! It’s very important to stop and take time to listen to your children. Too many parents don’t take the time anymore.

  13. These are great tips to help calm down a kid. Identifying the problem is very important but usually skipped so it’s great you are pointing it out! I will need to remind myself to do so with my kid!

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