What are the intuitive pathways that can be incorporated into the family environment to encourage confidence and independence? The ebook, Raising a Happy Spirit: The Inner Wisdom of Parenting lays out the chapters on intuitive pathways in easy to follow steps that are best introduced at young ages, but can be productive when used at any stage of development during a child’s life. These pathways are tools that encourage spiritual growth. 

This blog will focus on the second pathway: Self-Soothing

Self-soothing is the ability to provide comfort to yourself when you are in pain or in an uncomfortable emotional state. Many parents feel it is their job to always soothe their child, even when unnecessary.

Parents want to control the situation because they don’t want to see their child in pain or discomfort. Life is painful at times and the best way to support children is by teaching them to calm themselves. Children who learn self-soothing behaviors will have a life with less stress and anxiety because they know how to calm themselves in difficult situations.

For very young children, simple things such as a blanket, pacifier or toy are examples of tools that can be used for the benefit of self-soothing. Self-soothing can be learned by babies around seven months of age, when their motor skills allow them to grasp and hold objects in ways that provide comfort. 

The bedtime ritual is a great place to begin for babies who have a difficult time calming themselves.

If this is the case with your child at bedtime, give them kisses and hugs. Then put them down and tell them you will be near. Leave a self-soothing tool within their reach. If they cry when you leave the room, wait five minutes before entering the room to reassure them by patting them in a loving way. Do not pick them up. Leave the room again when they’ve calmed. If they start to cry again, repeat the process but stretch the length of time out, say to seven minutes, then to ten minutes as often as you must.

This process may be difficult at first but by teaching them to calm themselves over a period of time you reassure them and yourself that they are capable of self-soothing. This takes time, discipline and practice, but is well worth it.

As the child ages, more sophisticated techniques of self-soothing can be introduced, such as deep breathing, stretching, verbal or mental repetition of a phrase such as “all is well,” or “I am loved,” and meditation. Providing them with tools that can be used throughout their lives to enhance calm and decrease anxiety and stress is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children.

Remember this when teaching self-soothing: “The way to unconditional love is to be a silent observer…[which] requires honor, respect and a keen level of awareness.”

Click here to purchase the ebook, Raising a Happy Spirit: The Inner Wisdom of Parenting, or contact Julianna Lyddon directly at connectwithjulianna.com.

 Julianna Lyddon

Connect with Julianna