Posted on October 28, 2013, in Stress and Anxiety
(from the TLC Early Childhood Grief Program)

Ages: For infants through 3 year olds

When trying to create safety and security with children keeping a daily routine in place is very helpful. Other suggestions to make your child feel safe and secure are:

  • Make eye contact OFTEN
  • Hold your little one often, plan for “snuggle time” before bedtime or naptime
  • Engage in reciprical smiling and laughter with your little one
  • Play games such as patty cake and peek-a-boo while holding your child
  • Swing your child in a blanket while singing a favorite song
  • Read a book or watch a short video together on the sofa
  • Crawl with your toddler, be excited when they crawl toward you

(from Barbara Oehlberg's Tools for Helping Children Cope with Overwhelming Memories and the Effects of Trauma)

Hold your little one on your lap in front of a mirror. Demonstrate with your facial expressions while you encourage the child to join you. Say, “I feel surprised!” with exaggerated facial expression. Then, “Baby (child’s name) feels surprised!”

Continue with “I feel sad.” “Baby____feels sad.”

“I feel lonely.” “Baby____feels lonely.”

“I feel excited!” “Baby____feels excited!”

“I feel happy!” “Baby____feels happy!”

Repeat OFTEN, even after your child can easily copy your expressions. Try different feelings and expressions, always beginning and ending with postive ones. These exercises allow your child to begin to understand and manage his/her deep feelings while feeling safe and secure on your lap.

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