When a child is lonely, discouraged, or sad, it can be tough knowing the right words to say to calm or comfort them. But some gestures that warm-up (literally) children, and these are silent ways to calm and comfort your child.
Your baby naturally learns to connect the warmth of being fed by his parent or being held with feeling cared for and protected. That’s what most experts call a “secure attachment.”
And many studies have shown that this can make a child grow to have other close, trusting, and relationships throughout life.
You as a mother, you may not remember how you were held or breastfed as a baby, but you know how those positive responses have become hardwired in your brain, making you feel so connected to your mom.
So without much ado, below are some silent ways you can calm and comfort your child. These simple soothers are great when you need to reassure your child:
1. Snuggle with your child, give them a heating pad
A part of the brain called “insula” responds to snuggling, or any form of warmth- be it touching a heating pad or texting with friends and family.
Dr. John Bargh, professor of psychology at Yale University, and his colleagues discover that a section of the insula becomes active when a person is betrayed by someone, treated coldly, or holds something cold.
That’s why snuggling, wrapping your child in a blanket or using a heating pad is one of the silent ways to calm and comfort your child.
2. Serve hot chocolate or soup
You may think it does not make sense that drinking something warm could affect your child’s behavior, but studies have shown a strong connection between the body and mind.
Dr. Bargh and other researchers conducted a study to know the effect of warmth on the participant. So half of the subjects were given something warm to hold-like a cup of hot coffee- while the other half were asked to hold a cup of iced coffee.
After several tests to measure how the participants feel about the participants and other people, the subjects holding hot coffee were seen to show warm feelings towards others than those holding a cup of iced coffee.
This study proved that you can serve your child a cup of hot chocolate to keep them comforted and happy.
3. Turn up the thermostat
You can comfort your child and boost emotional warmth through a toasty temperature. This has been proven to help children feel closer to the people they’re with.
A Dutch study gave children a bunch of colorful stickers and asked them to share with a friend. The children staying in a warm room (about 700C) were very happy to share their stickers with others than kids in a cool room (about 600C).
So there is an unconscious association between emotional warmth and warm temperature, and this is established better in the early part of a child’s life.
4. Don’t tell your child about your strategy
If you tell kids that a warm temperature can make them feel better after a bad day, they might resist. Yeah, it would sound insane to her when her friend just did something infuriating and you are telling her a warm blanket can be of help.
So just save the secret; give her a warm hug and make her feel the warmth needed to ease the tension and stress.
Your child is likely to go through lots of emotional instability because they are still growing. But you can sure advantage of the positive effect of warm gestures like the points highlighted above. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll be helping your baby stay calm and happy with you and others.