Fingerholds Grounding and Anxiety Management with Young Children Series: Part 1 of 3

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Date of Publication
March, 2021

As we continue slogging through the “new normal” dictated by the ongoing pandemic, it is expected and natural that both parents and children are struggling with increased anxiety. This can be made worse by a forced lack of privacy such as, the whole family trying to work from home and/or do online schooling while in one enclosed space. In situations like these, additional tools for support are super useful. We will be focusing on a few coping strategies that are simple enough that even very young children can learn them. For the first in this series, we cover fingerholds.

Where did it come from?

This activity has its origins in Eastern Chinese Medicine, and presents the concept that our body has energy meridians that need to be maintained in flow in order to balance our emotions. This fingerhold activity uses the same principles of acupressure.

This activity is a great introduction to coping skills. The beauty of this strategy is that it can literally be applied at any time and in any situation in which your child feels emotionally distressed or unsafe. This can include family strife and challenges, or situations like being in the middle of a math lesson and unable to leave the class.

Okay WCSAP, but how does this relate to Sexual Assault?

It can be really difficult to manage feelings in unsafe situations, or in homes, that have felt unsafe at any point. In our recent webinar on sibling sexual abuse, we discussed coping tools parents can use with children when they are navigating trauma and potentially living with a sibling who caused harm, and this was one of the tools that was recommended. Teaching your child to practice fingerholds is a good way for them to start developing ways to help them feel safer in a space, or a home, that has not always been the safest place for them, but which is changing to better meet their safety needs.

The finger hold activity serves the dual purpose of helping your child to self-soothe, as well as serving as a way for them to communicate their feelings to you, their teacher, or another trusted adult. In order to see the fingerholds activity, and how to carry it out, click the link in the 'Resources' section below.