Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Don’t forget the noise factor.

What you can do

Pay attention to whether your child has trouble being around lots of noise. If so, think about sound levels before deciding whether to take her to a wedding reception, football game or other optional event.

For example, when choosing restaurants, try to select smaller ones. If there’s live music, ask for a table that’s far from the stage or the speakers. Encourage your child to use noise-canceling headphones or her imagination to block out noise.

Suggest your child focus on her breathing when she’s overwhelmed by noises.

What you can say

“Sofia, sometimes it’s hard to avoid large crowds. But it can help to bring noise-canceling headphones or listen to relaxing music. You have a great imagination. Use it to focus on thoughts that will help filter out what’s going on around you. Sometimes I find it helps if I take deep breaths and concentrate on my breathing.”

Why this will help

Children need to understand that their difficulty with loud noise is not a reflection of their intelligence or social potential. Learning more about sensory processing issues will help.

It will also help if you emphasize that your child has some control over how she handles tough situations. The more strategies she feels comfortable using, the more she’ll be willing to try new activities.

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