There are many people who are advocates of
the concept of teaching kids to self-soothe
when they are upset or crying.
The Ability To Care For Ourselves Is Vital
In fact the idea of self-soothing is a very positive goal.
The problem is the way in which the traditional approach
Attempts to teach this to kids.
Being able to give ourselves self-love and support
when we are going through a difficult time
is a powerful skill to have.
If we can teach this skill to our children from the earliest age
we are giving them something so valuable.
Don’t Abandon Your Kids To Their Misery
The thing is though, teaching kids to self soothe
does not mean leaving them alone in a room to cry
hoping they will eventually stop.
They Learn Fear And Pain
There’s nothing soothing about this experience.
It is terrifying, painful and deeply wounding.
Even if they do stop crying
it is because they have given up hope
of receiving the love that they are so deeply desiring.
What they end up learning is acceptance of pain
and repressing their desire for love and support.
Offer Your Love and Support Unconditionally
If we really want to teach kids to self-soothe
we must offer them the love and support
they need in difficult moments.
We must offer it deeply, consistently and unconditionally.
It is by giving them the repeated experience
of comfort and care when they are hurting
that they will learn to give it to themselves.
Consistent Love and Attention Send a Powerful Message
It becomes their inner understanding
that when they feel pain
they receive love and comfort
rather than abandonment and fear.
If we abandon them in times of despair
they do not develop confidence,
they develop a fear response.
Raising Confident And Independent Kids
Teaching kids to self soothe is extremely valuable.
It is in the same category as teaching kids to think for themselves,
to know and listen to their own bodies,
and to make intelligent independent decisions.
For all of these things they need our support.
They need to know that they can rely upon us
as their solid foundation
so that as they grow up they can face
and deal with any obstacle in their path.
Let your Kids know you are Always There
So when your kids cry,
Pick them up
Hold them close
Let them know you’ll always be there for them
You are not creating dependence.
You are creating a foundation.
Then they can go out into the world
prepared to deal with what whatever comes their way
from a place of Independence and self-confidence.