I couldn’t possibly think of a better way to teach your child to “self-soothe” than to simply always give them a choice.
It’s about saying, “How do you want to handle this? Do you need me to hug you or do you want to work this out on your own?”
Maya often falls and hurts herself and I always ask her if she needs a hug or some milk. Sometimes she does, and I welcome her embrace with open arms. Other times, she will tell me, “No”, very confidently and soothe herself.
This gives me great pleasure to see, because it shows me that we don’t need to force our children to “self-sooth”. They will do it themselves when they are good and ready, safe in the knowledge that if they are not up to soothing themselves today, or in that particular moment, their parents/caregivers are right there for them. I couldn’t think of a better way to build their confidence and security! 💗