Hyperactivity is one of the most common behavioral disorders among children. In fact, it is estimated that 3% of children under 7 years of age and 5% of school-age children suffer from this disorder. Its most significant symptoms are related to restless and restless behavior, although there may also be outbursts of aggressiveness and impulsiveness.
Life can be uphill for children with hyperactivity as difficulties controlling their emotions and regulating their behavior can get them into trouble. Obviously, these difficulties also affect the people who live with the child, so it is not surprising that parents end up losing patience.
However, there are different ways to control childhood hyperactivity and relieve symptoms, behavioral therapy, for example, is a very effective strategy to modify behaviors. The turtle technique falls precisely within this line of treatment.
What does the turtle technique consist of?
Unlike traditional behavioral therapies in which behavior control is achieved with external stimuli, in the turtle technique self-control is used to manage child hyperactivity. This technique is designed for preschool and school-age children, and its main The goal is to get the little one to learn to regulate their own disruptive behaviors. Plus, it’s a very simple technique that any parent can teach their child at home.
Teach the child to respond to imminent impulsive or aggressive behavior by shrinking and putting his head in his arms, like a turtle hiding in its shell. This position it is not casual but it facilitates introspection, it allows the child to id identify inappropriate behaviors and take emotional distance to manage the situation.
Once the child has learned to anticipate their disruptive behaviors and know how to adopt the turtle position, they are taught to relax their muscles. This step is very important because relaxation is incompatible with the muscular tension typical of impulsive behavior. Therefore, as the child relaxes, the tension, anger and frustration disappear.
At this point the child must think about the different solutions that he can give to the problem. He must think about what he will do when he leaves the position of the tortoise. Of course, you can also help him by providing guidance or ideas.
When the child feels more relaxed and knows how to deal with the situation that gave rise to his anger or frustration, then You will be able to leave the turtle position.
Initially, you will have to guide the child in each of the steps, but once you master the technique, you will be able to apply it on your own . The idea is that you adopt this position whenever you feel like you are going to explode because some situation in the environment has irritated you.
3 benefits of the turtle technique
- It facilitates the assertive expression of needs. The disruptive behaviors of hyperactive children usually appear before any stimulus, which which is because they have problems controlling their impulse sivity. In those cases, the turtle technique teaches them to take time before responding, to assess the situation, calm down and find the appropriate response.
- Stimulates the development of self-control and autonomy . This technique is particularly useful for the child to learn to take responsibility for their own behavior but also promotes independence. Through this technique, the child understands that he is the main person in charge of controlling his behavior, which also generates a feeling of maturity.
- It reduces anxiety levels and physiological responses of impulsiveness. The second step of the turtle technique, when the child must relax their muscles, generates a decrease in the physiological signs of anxiety and hyperactivity. In this way, the child can exercise more control over her behavior.