We all know what it feels like when we are overwhelmed. There are some days where our emotions get the best of us and our rational brain doesn’t have much room in our decision making.
Imagine then, what it feels like for children; when their already emotional space gets flooded, their every frustration building with the crescendo of a crashing wave. Here are 5 tips to help with the meltdowns;
- Be the calm. Matching their emotions with a bigger version will only increase the stimulation. Managing your own emotions while holding space for your child’s helps to validate, diffuse and comfort.
- Re-direct. As adults, we have learned to be comfortable with the discomfort by using distraction. The same thing can work with our children; when we suggest an alternative, it often helps in creating a sense of control for the child.
- Listen. Get down to their eye level; let them tell you what is wrong. Label and agree with their feelings. We can both validate and maintain boundaries which allows for teaching moments about behaviours.
- Problem solve. When the meltdown is over, and calm has returned, that is when we can look at solving the problem – whether that is immediate or for ‘next time.’
- Guide, not control. Sometimes our own fears about being the perfect parent will get in the way of what is happening in the moment which can lead us to needing to control. We can temper this by seeing ourselves instead as a guide, helping our littles navigate the emotional road.
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Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@arwanod