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Taming Toddler Tantrums – Teaching Children To Self-soothe


One very important skill parents should teach their children is how to self-soothe. Having this skill helps toddlers grow into independent individuals. Here are some self-soothing techniques that can help tame toddler tantrums.

Monitor Emotions

In order for you to effectively teach your toddler how to self-soothe, first, you have to be mindful of his emotions. Does he whine during bedtime? Fight with his sibling? Slam the door? Talk back? Think about the behaviour you have seen or heard your toddler express before the full-blown meltdown. This will make it easier for you to understand that your little one is experiencing a strong emotion he cannot articulate.

Listen

No matter how busy you are, always take the time to listen to your toddler. Children often seek for empathy in their parents and showing compassion can help your little one manage his emotions better so he can in turn, think of ways to calm himself.

Get Moving

Being active helps the body generate chemicals that can calm and soothe. The next time your toddler grits his teeth or clenches his fist, ask him to take a break and encourage your toddler to perform physical activities such as running, dancing, riding a biking, walking or playing tag or basketball. Afterwards, talk about how much better his body and mood feels.

Teach Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing is a very effective way to calm frazzled nerves. Teach your toddler to take 10 slow, deep breaths. Let him perform this exercise before he reacts or every time he is having an outburst. This soothing technique gives your little one time to organize his thoughts.

Provide Distractions

Another way you can teach your toddler to self-soothe is by giving him a distraction. For instance, if your toddler is about to scream because he cannot get what he wants, bring him to a safe corner in your home where he can do different activities such as painting, stacking blocks, coloring books, reading a book or completing a jigsaw puzzle. Redirecting his negative emotions not only helps calm him down but it will also give him the opportunity to do something productive.

Help Your Toddler Express His Feelings

Tantrums are often caused by a toddler’s inability to express what he feels due to his limited vocabulary. You can help your toddler communicate his emotions by teaching him to sing a song, write his thoughts down or encourage him to ask for a hug or a back rub each time he feels uneasy. Learning to put into words one’s feelings is an effective way to self-soothe. Once he is able to do this, you will be amazed at how seldom your little one throws fits.

Affirm

Teach your toddler to think about his good traits whenever he feels bad. Teaching your child to think positive will give him comfort when the going gets tough. Having an optimistic mind is the most powerful tool to calm one’s self.

Toddler tantrums are unavoidable. But, you can make your toddler and your family’s life easier by teaching your toddler how to calm himself.

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