A child sits alone on the floor in the middle of a room by themselves. The child cowers and shivers uncontrollably if anyone else enters the room. Which of the following responses do you believe is the most stabilizing to the child?
1) The first person walks into the room and kneels down directly in front of the child. They cower a little bit themselves and coddle the child with baby talk saying things like “Are you sick?”, “Are you hurt?”, “You’ll be okay”, “Everything’s alright”, “You don’t need to worry or be frightened”, and “I know how scary this room is, I understand how you feel.”
2) The second person walks into the room and stands directly in front of the child in a domineering stance. This person looks directly at the child and says loudly and with force “Stop that, there is no reason to be scared!” or “Quit it now, I said stop acting like that!” or “If you don’t stop acting like a baby, I’m gonna make you stop or give you something to really be scared of!”.
3) The third person walks into the room quietly and calmly. This person sits down next to the child and refrains from acknowledging the behavior of the child while they also display no self reaction of worry or concern for anything in the environment. After a while, this person stands up next to the child and silently extends a hand toward the child in an obvious gesture to assist the child in standing up if they should so desire.