According to Dr. Read Sulik, there are 10 essentials children must learn to master to develop the ability to self-soothe. Parents play an integral role in helping their children develop these strategies. Take a look at the list below and think about how you might use each one with your child.
Sleeping – helping your child develop a healthy sleep routine
Eating – helping your child learn to eat a healthy and balanced diet
Moving – helping your child engage in the right type of calming physical activity
Breathing – helping your child learn to practice self-soothing skills
Thinking – helping your child notice and change their thoughts for the better
Speaking – helping your child put words to their inner world
Connecting – helping your child develop their support system
Building – helping your child foster their natural talents, strengths, and build their self-esteem
Tending – helping your child develop mindfulness and self-awareness
Seeking – helping your child get the right help when it is needed
I know many parents who are wonderful teachers for their children. The wise mothers and fathers of my oldest students are constantly practicing these strategies with their children, even once they enter middle and high school. Helping them develop healthy sleeping, eating, and moving habits. Teaching them to understand and speak their thoughts, and build their strengths. Giving them the tools to seek the right help, to tend to their own thoughts, and to connect with others who will support them. Some ideas may change as your child gets older, but the ability to regulate one’s behavior is still a critical piece of learning and self-confidence.