(CMR) Sometimes calming your children can be very difficult and many parents resort to the thing these children love- screentime. It is always easy to play the Baby Sharks, Peppa Pig, and the other videos they love so you can have a quiet moment.
But at a time when it is difficult to get children to put down their devices and enjoy other things such as nature, you may not want to break your toddlers or young children into the habit of always being on a device. Here are seven ways (suggested by parent.com) you can calm your child without using a screen:
Be a mirror- When your child shares a frustration, paraphrasing it back to him or her could help. For example, if the child complains about receiving too much homework, respond with, “Lots of math tonight!” But do not leave it at that. Follow up with a confidence booster, such as, “You’re really good at solving your math problems. And I like the way you try when the problems get a bit hard. I’ll be here to help if you get stuck.” By doing this, you’ve acknowledged your child's frustrations and can help calm the child.
Do the unexpected– Sometimes, your child cries so hard, you don't know what to do. One counselor suggests doing something unexpected to get the child's attention; for example, turning off the lights, jumping up and down. This should shift the child's attention. You can then go ahead and do something that the child finds interesting, like identifying colors.
Chanting- Chanting “om” can help stop your child's tears, a child yoga instructor says. Do it as you make eye contact and rock him back and forth. Alternatively, you can hold his hands and make gentle circles with his arms. The strategy works for older kids when you teach them to chant with you. Chanting is said to carry a vibration causing the brain to produce fewer emotions; saying “om” evokes peaceful feelings.
Self-soothe– While hugs from Mom and Dad are the best, it is always great to teach your child ways to self-soothe. This will do wonders, especially when you cannot comfort them. The “butterfly” hug is one way this can be done. Ask your child to pretend to blow out candles, then have her cross her arms in front of her chest as if she’s hugging herself, with her fingertips resting just under her collarbones and pointing up toward her neck. Help her interlock her thumbs to make the body of the butterfly. Then have her close her eyes and flutter her fingers while taking slow breaths.
Taking Deep breaths– Teaching your child to take deep breaths when they are frustrated could help. If you have a toddler, hold up one finger and ask the child to imagine taking a deep breath and blowing bubbles, parents.com suggests. When the child's a little older, tell her to pretend her belly is a balloon and she needs to breathe through her nose to fill it with air.
Acupressure– An acupressure technique used in the neonatal intensive-care unit and hospitals' emergency department could do wonders. Follow the curve around the top of your baby’s ear with your finger until you feel an indention. Then gently rub that spot (a pressure point) in small, circular motions for five to ten seconds. Next, go to the inner crease of his elbow and slide your finger to the edge closest to his body. Gently rub that pressure point for ten to 15 seconds. Alternate between ear and elbow on both sides until he settles down. This is said to clear blockages in “energy channels” and release feel-good endorphins.
A splash of water– A gentle splash of water may help your baby or toddler keep her cool, says clinical psychologist Ilana Lufa. Applying a cold, wet washcloth or dipping your fingers in cold water and gently touching the child's face may help calm the child. Cooling the child's body’s temp a bit can slow down her heart rate and help calm her breathing.