Things can pretty noisy with kids around. Sometimes it feels downright unbearable to us when our child's emotions are like a runaway train. The yelling, the screaming. What's a parent to do?
Do You Scream Back?
Do you ever chime in with the screaming chorus? Sometimes it seems as if this is the only way to get our kids back on track. But is it, really?
Nobody has ever proven that kids listen better when we raise our voices.
In fact, research has shown the opposite.
When your child yells,
screams or otherwise explodes,
try getting quieter, not louder!
What Will the Neighbors Think?
Worried what the neighbors might think when they hear your child screaming at earth shattering decibels? What do you suppose they think when they hear BOTH your child AND you falling apart at the seams?
Children scream and yell because they do not have full control of their emotions. Staying calm is a skill that takes time to master..and modeling from adults who already know how to do it. Remaining calm when our child is anything but, isn't always easy, but it is always possible.
From a technical perspective, our prefrontal cortex (highest thinking part of our brain) mediates the limbic system (the seat of the emotions)...and helps us control otherwise "out-of-control" feelings. It takes a lot of physical development and a big learning curve to become fully in control of our emotions. This task is even bigger for kids who enjoy intense temperaments.
It's Not Personal
When we bear in mind that our child is not yelling, screaming or exploding to make our day miserable, we have a much better chance of responding more calmly. Recognizing that our kids need our help to learn the skill of managing BIG emotions puts us squarely back in our child's corner...right where we belong.
All is Not Lost
Maybe you're a parent who has resorted to screaming (and we all know how easy it is to do) in the past. Today is a new day. You can do it differently starting today. Sometimes we have to change our own behavior in order to help our kids change, too.
Are you a parent who sees a difference in your child's behavior when you stay calm? We'd love to hear about it!
(If your child enjoys a rather intense temperament and you are looking for ways to help him better deal with anger, be sure to check our Anger Toolbox for Kids downloadable MP3 and select handouts, as well as visit our Anger Toolbox for Kids on facebook!)
Spin Doctor Tip: When your child starts screaming, try to overcome your own emotional response. Rather than saying to yourself, "Here we go again! I can't take this!", try to say this instead, "He still needs my help in learning how to calm down. I'll keep teaching him until he gets it on his own!"