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Go Stop Go

Here’s a jazzy way to help your child practice self-control by combining music with this 'freeze" game.


Music from any source – radio, record player, tape, CD or phone. 


We tend to think of self-control for stopping when a child feels like hitting, but it’s also a skill children need when they don’t want to stop playing when they have to go to the bathroom.


  • Find some music that’s good for marching or other kind of spirited dancing.
  • Tell your child to listen for the music—to march or dance when it’s on and to stop moving when the music stops. (This works best if you can turn your back so your child can’t see when you stop the music.)
  • When your child manages to stop, you have a wonderful opportunity to say something like, “See, you can control yourself! Good job!”
  • Remember, it’s hard to calm down after doing a lively activity, so it’s a good idea to play softer, slower music to help your child wind down gradually.


Take it Further

When you’re out and about, let your child know where the bathrooms are. Play the Bathroom Game on our PBSKids site.

Talk About It

Most children have trouble stopping in mid-air in the middle of a musical beat. It's even harder for them to control their hands from hitting when they're angry. Over time, your child will probably get better at this musical game, and that growing ability can extend to other times when your child needs self-control, like when it’s time to stop playing to go to the bathroom. When you notice the progress, let your child know you're proud of him.

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