How Can My Child Self-Soothe And Become Self-Reliant
Many parents complain to all that they meet that their child is always whining and seeking their attention at all times. The child is growing up but needs his or her parents around all the time, something which is hardly possible in this day and age. So if you are a parent who is facing such an issue, what are the steps that you can take? Read on…
Starting Slow and Spacing it Gradually
Step 1: To make your kid develop the capacity to organize themselves and increase self-reliance, instead of expecting you to be with and entertain them constantly, you can play with them for about 15 to 20 minutes using their favorite toys. Once they are settled and appear to be focused on the task at hand and enjoying themselves, encourage them to keep playing while you indulge in your personal chore or activity (albeit a small one) in the same room.
Step 2: After the initial foundation of spacing yourself is laid, try and check in with your kid every few minutes, to let them know that you are still there and reassure them. If you are folding clothes or dusting, give the child 2 or 3 handkerchiefs or a rag, so that they can copy you and pick up some essential skills (to use later in life) as well. If they complain or throw a tantrum, try to redirect them, physically or verbally. However, make it absolutely clear to them that you will pick them up or help them and when you are free and not whenever they feel like it.
Step 3: Initially, make sure that you do tasks which are less time consuming so that your child doesn’t feel abandoned or unloved. Also, immediately after you have finished the chore at hand, praise your child for being patient, cooperative and helping you and reward them by playing with them or giving them a small treat to eat. Such rewards go a long way in reinforcing the same behavior the next time.
Teaching your Child to Self Soothe
In order to make your child good at self-soothing, you need to follow a plan. These are the skills your child requires to learn to become an effective self-calmer:
Set or provide an example of what it looks and feels like to be calm.
Validate your child’s feelings. If they are feeling distressed, don’t ignore it or they might feel unloved or abandoned. Talk to them gently and patiently through gestures and words.
Teach them how to calm down in different situations.
Teach them at least 5 self-calming tricks so that they may use another, if one fails.
Help them find activities that make them happy so that they can shift from a distressed feeling to a positive one.
Once they are calm, help them think through what made them feel so upset and what can be done differently, the next time it happens, so that they can stay calm and in control.
Hope you liked my advice and will incorporate these ways to make your child self-reliant and calm themselves. I am looking forward to hearing from you and will come back with another write up, full of parenting tips and tricks. Do write to me in the comments section, if you have any queries, suggestions or even if just want to say “hi”. Ciao till the next time!
Aarti Puri is Harvard educated and the founder and CEO of Magnolia Kids, a primary school. She is a psychologist, writer and teacher trainer. She's starting her YouTube Video channel for moms and kids soon!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.