One of the most difficult parts of parenting is handling the MELTDOWNS!
Can I get an amen?!
Our kids know just how to push our buttons, don’t they?
I remember not too long ago, my kids were yelling at one another so I yelled at them, “Stop yelling!” When I realized the irony of the situation – me yelling at them to stop yelling – I couldn’t help but chuckle.
When our kids are in the middle of a meltdown or a challenging moment, it’s incredibly difficult to stay calm. But staying calm is exactly what they need us to do.
Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to help you stay calm and respond appropriately to those challenging moments:
- Don’t take it personally. I love what parenting expert Dr. Ross Greene often says: “Children do well when they can.” What he means by that is that kids don’t intentionally misbehave. They don’t have meltdowns because they want to make their parents miserable; they have meltdowns because they’re struggling! So when your child is having a meltdown, don’t take it personally. It’s not about you. It’s about them having a hard time! Which brings me to the second tip…
- Show empathy to your child. Remember: your children are not giving you a hard time; they are having a hard time. Try to put yourself in their shoes, understand where they are coming from, and feel what they are feeling.
- Focus on something positive. It’s tempting – especially in the middle of a meltdown – to focus only on the negative. Try to let go of the negative thinking and focus on something positive, even if that something is very small!
- Calm your body by using a breathing technique. I like to use the Take 5 breathing technique because it’s an easy one for children to do with us.
- Smile. It’s amazing how a simple smile can help calm your spirit. And finally…
- Walk away. If all else fails and you can’t seem to keep your cool, it’s okay to walk away. I think we sometimes think we shouldn’t do this, but it is totally okay to walk away, cool off, and re-address the issue once everyone is calm.
Another important tip…let’s call this a bonus tip…is to teach your children to calm down techniques.
That is one of the best gifts we can give our kids: a toolbox full of calm down techniques they can pull from any time they are struggling. This is something they would use for the rest of their lives!
And as always, I am not a medical doctor and the above post is based on my experience. No information on this site should be relied upon to make a medical diagnosis, treat, prevent or cure any disease or medical condition.