It's About Them

Young People … Our Greatest Resource

Helping a Troubled Child Self-Soothe (Part Five)

The information in this serial posting comes from psychologist Dr. James Sutton’s current work-in-progress, The Changing Behavior Book: a fresh approach to the difficult child. One of the chapters is on teaching troubled youngsters the skills of soothing themselves in times of difficulty. To read Dr. Sutton’s comments on this new book (which will also be available in e-book format), including a description of its 20 chapters, click here


Helping a Troubled Child Self-Soothe (Part Five)

Falling Back on Reminders

It’s a general practice of adults to evaluate present events and circumstances against past experiences. There’s a high-water mark for joy, sorrow, fear and all emotional states, and chances are good that the high-water mark is NOT what’s happening right now. (If it is, then you have a higher “mark” for evaluating future events and circumstances.) In other words, we’ve had higher highs and lower lows and have survived them.

The act of considering a current experience against an extreme mark for that same sort of experience can be a soothing reflection for older children. They’ve been around long enough to make a few deposits and withdrawals from their “bank” of experiences. Younger children have more difficulty making these comparisons because of fewer experiences, but the same concepts works still apply.

Here are some reframing statements a youngter can make as another way of soothing themselves:

“Hey, I know I’ve handled stuff tougher than this before.”

“This isn’t really as bad as it looked at first.”

“I can handle this because I’ve handled worse.”

“I’m up to the challenge this time.”

“You know, there’s really no need for me to turn this into World War III.” 

Watch for Part Six (final): “Automatic” Soothing


James Sutton, Psychologist



August 23, 2008 - Posted by | adversity, Counselors, Difficult Child, Educators, family, Inspirational, Parents, Self-esteem | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] – bookmarked by 4 members originally found by euthman on 2008-11-09 Helping a Troubled Child Self-Soothe (Part Five) – […]


    Pingback by Bookmarks about Child | December 18, 2008 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s