• Behavior
  • Health
  • Parenting

I'm about to lose it! My preschooler is throwing a fit

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Father holding and carrying young daughter

In this article, you’ll find answers to questions like:

1. What are benefits of comforting?
2. How best to soothe?
3. Who can help?

Are you out of ideas and ways to calm down your preschooler?

Hang in there. All of your perseverance and abundance patience will be worth it.

1. WHAT ARE BENEFITS OF COMFORTING?

Just like us, the children we love may get angry, upset or frustrated when things don’t go their way. It’s important that people of all ages learn foundational calming skills to foster positive and healthy relationships for a lifetime. Even the most low-key parents need help managing family stress at times.

There are many calming options to explore with children — and also for yourself. Let’s face it: Your stressed child can make you stressed.

2. HOW BEST TO SOOTHE?

“Try removing a smaller child from a stressful situation and relocating to a quiet corner to color, draw, sketch or journal to avoid escalation,” says Deborah Newell, director of Positive Parenting Program, known as Triple P, at Community Partners of South Florida. “Deep breathing, counting backward, squeezing a stress ball, applying hand lotion, excusing oneself to the bathroom, washing the face, and walking away to a quiet place can all be very calming activities for parents and adult caregivers.”

 “Relax,” a book by Catherine O'Neill and Toni Goffe, is filled with fun ways to teach children to calm themselves and offers advice on where to start with role-playing, suggests Renée E. Layman, chief executive officer for the Center for Child Counseling in Palm Beach Gardens, an agency funded by Children’s Services Council.

3. WHO CAN HELP?

Five local organizations provide a variety of compassionate outpatient services to children of all ages, as well as counseling for parents, through the Children’s Behavioral Health Collaborative. A grant from Palm Beach County’s Community Services Department funds the collaborative. For more information, click here or call 56-588-3477.

You can also reach out to Triple P programs, which are free and focus on positive parenting and family strengthening. Triple P, funded by Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County, is provided by:


SOURCES:

• Deborah Newell, program director for Triple P, Community Partners of South Florida
• Renée Layman, chief executive officer, Center for Child Counseling


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