Self Soothing Techniques to Help Your Child Deal With Temper Tantrums

Young children have temper tantrums for many different reasons. It could be due to frustrations if they lack the language skills to communicate their wants or needs. Some toddlers have melt downs if they are tired, egocentric or have a hard time understanding someone else’s perspective, or she could be asserting her growing independence and identity which results in a power struggle.

If your child has frequent temper tantrums, skills for self soothing and self calming will help. Adults and children who possess these skills have an easier time dealing with frustrations and stress.

Sometimes infants and toddlers have their own way to self sooth. For example thumb-sucking, using a pacifier, or rubbing a loved object such as a blanket are a few ways young children self sooth. Here are a few more ways you can calm your child.

  • Play soft music.
  • Use white noise like a vacuum or noise machine.
  • Rock your child.
  • Rub your child’s back or give him a massage.

When your child gets older you can teach her some fun activities to calm her down. For example, ask your child to relax and pretend to be a rag doll. Have her pretend to be an animal. Sensory activities also help sooth children. Fill a bucket or dish pan with water, or sand, or shaving cream. Play dough, Gak, Silly Putty and clay are also very calming materials for your child.

For more information on understanding your child’s temper tantrums Healthy Moms recommends the book “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Tantrums,” by Joni Levine, M.Ed.

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3 Comments

  • Kristie , February 6, 2009

    My 17 month old tends to have temper tantrums lately when I tell him ‘no’. He still uses a paci, but that doesn’t help when he’s mad. I’ve found that distracting him or making him laugh somehow works the best at calming him down.We didn’t have as much trouble with my daughter and temper tantrums. We had taught her sign language and she was able to communicate quite well with us at an early age. I’ve started baby sign with my little guy hoping that helps as well.

  • Toni , February 7, 2009

    I still use a pacifier for this but considering we are about to try and break this habit I am going to have to come up with some new ways!!!Great tips.

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