Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Helping Kids Handle BIG Emotions
It is our job to help our kids learn how to handle BIG emotions. The more out of control a child gets, the more he relies on us to demonstrate calm and soothing behavior. When our behavior starts to mimic that of the child who is on an emotional rollercoaster, there is double-trouble.
1. First, we have missed a golden opportunity to help our child learn how to self-regulate and manage over the top feelings.
2. We have just reinforced that behavior by providing an emotional fireworks display of our own.
Remember that a child who is drunk on emotion is not going out of his way to inconvenience you, but rather, is asking you for assistance. Don't personalize!
So what's a parent to do? How can a parent rein in their own emotions when their child is pushing all of their buttons? The secret is changing what you think. When you change how you think, you change how you feel. And that makes all the difference. For your child and for you!
Rather than telling yourself things that sabotage your child and you, such as, "Here we go again!", "I can't stand this!", and "This is going to be the death of me!", try replacing those thoughts with a new mantra, "I can handle this!", "This kid needs me to model calm!", "Here's my chance to help him deal with big emotions".
Parents, keep calm and carry on! Know that you are in good company...emotional scenes that play out in your home are also playing out in homes across the country.
What will your mantra be the next time junior has a meltdown?