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Handling Your Child’s Distress

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Let’s explore some alternative ways to handle distress in your child. 1. Try to allow its expression. When you let a child communicate distress, you are showing your child that it is okay to experience a full range of emotions.

You’re telling your child that what she feels is valid. Such messages are essential to your child’s emerging sense of self and self-confidence.

Of course, there may be times—especially in public—when the expression of distress presents difficulties. But such moments can be handled by recognizing the distress signal, validating and labeling it with words, fixing the cause of the distress, and, if necessary, taking the infant to another location.

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