When your child is having a meltdown it is hard to remain calm! As parents, we are bombarded with too many responsibilities and constant daily stress leaving us feeling generally exhausted and overwhelmed when our child is having a hard time. This is a great article outlining some helpful ways to assist your child when they are having a tantrum. Some key take aways include:
Help your child label feelings and validate their frustration. Instead of saying, “It is no big deal. You need to calm down.” try “I see that you are feeling very frustrated that your Lego tower broke. I’m sorry. That would make me feel sad too.” This will alleviate your child’s need to continue to scream, cry, and hit because their feelings are seen and validated.
Model acknowledging your own feelings in the moment. Instead of saying “You are making me feel__” try “I am starting to feel angry/sad/disappointed”. This shows your child you are able to recognize and give a name to your feelings instead of showing your child that he has power over your emotions.
Lastly, always try to remain neutral. Do not engage in your child’s behavior or tone of voice. This will create a power struggle instead of showing your child that you are the parent and you are in control.