Tag Archives: Self-soothing

Teach your kids to procrastinate

When pressure mounts,  parents and kids need to procrastinate like the pro’s.  Doing so promotes an #EmotionalIntelligence skill.  Time outs start the process.

Seven Reasons to Procrastinate.

parenting THOUGHTS

Strategy number one for helping kids stay emotionally strong remains “Remember what matters.”  What matters? In the long run the researchers and sages of the ages agree: caring connections matter most. And these are obtained by following the cross cultural rules preaching say “Treat all others as you want to be treated.”

Notice the rule does not say “Only treat family, friends, or tribal members as you want to be treated.” The rule says “Treat all others as you want to be treated.”

How this applies to children?  The very young child is controlled by what s/he feels in the moment.  Thoughts vanish in the flood of feelings.

How does procrastination help? By lengthening the time between feeling and acting and thereby encouraging thinking time. The emotionally intelligent think before acting.  Not easy to learn;  important for parents to teach.

parenting tips

Tip one:  Reframe time outs.  A time out is not and should not be a punishment.  Make time outs  “Calm down and Think” tools.

Tip two:   Call the first part of a  time out “Calming down time.”

Tip three: When the child is calm, call the next phase “Thinking it over time.”

Tip four: Release from time out with a “Naming to Tame” phase. The younger the child, the more you will need to do the naming.  The word “Upset” is useful at this stage.

  • “Calm now, upset because you could not finish the puzzle.”
  • “Upset because the tower fell; calm now.”
  • “Calm now, upset because you wanted chocolate and had to settle for fruit.”
  • “Upset because falling hurt you.”  (When a hurt caused to upset, the place for a time out is a parent’s arms. )
  • “Calm now, upset because I said “No.”

Tip five: Always end time outs on a positive note. The younger the child, the easier this is to do by just asking for a quick hug.  Once a child starts rejecting hugs, a simple “Thank you for thinking about this.” suffices.

Tip six: Give the child alternative tools to help cope with upsetting times.  These  include Calming Breathes,  The One Minute Meditation, and Sloganeering.  See the EFTI store for Poster Coaches teaching these exercises.


As always you need to model what you want to teach. That’s the bad news. The good news? Learning to Procrastinate like a Pro will strengthen your emotional fitness so you can more easily model it.

Thank you for all you do,


P.S. This post inspired by a Daily Prompt: Land of Confusion which asked: Which subject in school did you find impossible to master? Did math give you hives? Did English make you scream? Do tell!

Well, math was my bug-a-boo; but spelling, punctuation, and grammar were close behind.  Why? Because I have multiple learning disabilities – dyscalculia and dysgraphia. Still cannot do math. Thank goodness for my husband. Still troubled by spelling, punctuation, and grammar; thank goodness word processing has helped a bit with those three.
Learning some self-soothing skills, however made the difference between giving up and doing what I could.   Moreover, in time, what I learned to stay calm in my own life transferred into my Emotional Fitness Training programs.



A bit of a blog rant against parent bashing.

A picture about the joys of parent bashing.

 Image found on Pastordk’s blogspot. 

This is what turned me Cranky … teenagers asked for help of a therapist …

“I have trust issues. I don’t trust people, even very close family. I always think people are out to get me and that everyone hates me. Also, if I feel loved or happy a warning goes off in my head telling me I shouldn’t be fooled: no one REALLY loves me, and if I believe that they do, I will end up getting hurt. I don’t know why I feel this way! Nothing ever happened to me to justify this intense fear of rejection.

I understand that part of my believing no one loves me is because I don’t really feel worthy of love because I don’t love myself. Feeling like there is no safe place, no person that can be trusted, is an awful awful feeling. I always feel in danger, I don’t believe the people around me. I feel like people are trying to be nice but they are really lying to me. Please help me feel better.

Nothing ever happened to me to justify this intense fear of rejection.

The therapist answered:

 I know you believe that, but I’m certain that something must have caused this “awful feeling” in you. My guess is that your parents didn’t give you a consistent, constant feeling of “YOU ARE IMPORTANT. YOU ARE LOVED. WE LOVE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE, ALWAYS.”

When parents give children those messages, loud and clear, kids don’t feel the way you’ve described your feelings in your question.

I know most of you are parents, so you understand my crankiness. The therapist was a parent-basher; she looked like a kid herself. Moreover, her advice probably widened the gap between the girl and her parents.

I commented crankily, but probably should have added a small “Thank you” for giving me something to rant about here.


My comment complained about parent bashing and then offered the following ideas:

Tip one:  A reality check.  Betrayal and broken trust are part of every relationship no matter how loving.  Think of the toddler in the midst of separation anxiety? Parent leaves. Trust broken. Life goes on.  Think of the beloved grandparent who dies.  Trust broken. Life goes on.

Tip two: We betray each other because we need conflict. Knowing that can keep expectations more realistic.  Keeping expectations realistic reduces the pain that comes from every day betrayals. Moreover, it aids dealing effectively when trust gets broken big time.

Tip three: Rating scales are important in maintaining perspective on many things and broken trust is one of those things.  Even a simple three point scale can help.  Small betrayal, medium betrayal, big time betrayal. It builds perspective.

Tip four:   Strong self-soothing skills help deal with life’s hurtful moments. Think about getting my eBook Self-soothing, creating calm in your life.  It costs less than a Banana Split and does more good.

Tip five:  Strong self-defense skills improve confidence. As always I suggest children profit from taking Peace Aikido training.


Broken trust is part of life and  we all need to know that. But distrust can be carried too far.  Being hopeful and emotionally strong enough to withstand hurts and betrayals is the best mix.



The first:  Although built upon evidenced based practices, there is no guarantee my advice is the right advice for you and your family. Experiment, try my tips; if they are not useful to you try another parent adviser. You are the expert on you and your child; the rest of us experts on many different things.

The second: I have dysgraphia, a learning disability that peppers my writing with mis-spelling and punctuation errors. All my books are professionally edited. Not so my blog posts. Although I use all the grammar and spelling checks, mistakes slip by. If they bother you, seek another source of support for life’s less savory moments.   Life is too short to let problems you can avoid annoy or stress you.