Thank you for coming back. You ought to read Part 1 to understand the background to this post
What Do You Do When Your Child Is Under Stress?
Do not mix up your stressful situations with that of your child’s. You cannot put them in separate boxes also because stress stays only in one place which is you. So the basic is to attend to yourself first, then help your child. (In the case of emergency during flight, we are also advised to put on the oxygen mask over our heads first before helping the child with hers.)
Drink a glass of water or take a deep breath before you face your stressful child.
Remember not to:
- Be Impolite
S.I.R.I. (with no disrespect to the late Steve Jobs)
You have something your child doesn’t, a library full of words to use and abuse at your will.
Give your child a glass of water to drink. If the child doesn’t want to drink, put a drop of honey on your finger and wipe it on the lips of your child. The sweetness of honey stimulates her taste buds. Internally, she is paying less attention to her stressful situation. If you do not have honey, dab a few bits of brown sugar on your right index finger and ask the child to lick the sugar bits from your finger. (Just a few bits will do. You do not need a spoonful of sugar.) If the child is crying, gently push the sugar into her mouth onto her tongue. Do not replace this with candy or ice cream. It is not a treat.
** When your child was just a tiny infant crying out for milk or attention, you will not scold, reprimand, ignore or become impolite to her, will you? What my mother taught me was to mix a few drops of honey with warm water in the milk bottle and give it to my baby. Sometimes, we brushed a drop of honey on the pacifier and let her suck it. When my child became frightened (from a fall or claps of thunder), I would take her in my arms, reach out for the sugar bowl and dab a bit of sugar on her lips. I had done this many times before.
Rub your fingers through the child’s hair and use the palm of your hands to gently massage the forehead backwards from the middle where the two eyebrows would meet to the back of the head. Repeat this until the child starts to breath slowly. (You only need to give the sugar or honey once.) Walk away from the place where incidence of stress starts. Continue talking to distract the child’s attention but always remember not to scold, reprimand, ignore or be impolite (S.I.R.I.)