Three easy and effective tips to calm your toddler when “The Meltdown” is happening.
How does your child experience his/her strongest emotions and how do you react as a parent?
We would all like our children to be happy, friendly and always listen to what we say. Yet when our children act out we become uncomfortable and many times we react. How do you find yourself in these situations?
Emotions are very real and very raw. Children have a whole rainbow of very colorful emotions. One moment they may be happily playing with their friend, the next World War 3 is breaking out and there is anger and frustration abounding. There are tears of sadness and tears of happiness. We all feel what we feel, both children and adults.
When your child is feeling these Big Emotions what do you do? Do you get right in there with them? Do you try to fix the situation? Do you walk away because you “had enough?”
I have had parents tell me they get right in there and yell at their kids to stop it. I have had parents tell me they give their children a treat to make them feel better. I have had parents tell me they throw their hands up in the air and walk away. Does any of this sound like you? We all have had our moments. We are not perfect and you know what? That’s ok. Parents don’t have to be perfect because we are human. Just remember, your kids are human too!
Can you remember a childhood story when you were being emotional? What did your parents do? Do you see yourself doing the same? Or better yet the total opposite? Do you question yourself as a parent when your children have those melt downs?
If so the next time your child has a meltdown, there are 3 things you can do as a parent to help your child.
First And Foremost: Mindset
It’s always best to handle an emotional situation from a calm mindset. What does that mean? Step back and assess your feelings first. Calm yourself first. Give yourself empathy. How can your child become calm if you are in hysterics? You see what I mean? What are you teaching your child? Your child is looking to you for comfort and at a young age many times they just don’t know how to convey their feelings to you. It’s our job to be the detective and figure out what our child is needing or wanting. We can’t do that if we are just as emotional as our child. Ask yourself some questions like…What was going on before the issue arose? Are they tired, hungry or just need your attention or guidance?
Second: Just Be There
After asking yourself these questions, I invite you to just be there for your child. Let them vent. Get down to their level and just listen. They will stop. The world will not end. We have all been through it. After they stop, let them know you are there for them. Sometimes that is all they need, someone who will just listen. As adults, don’t you appreciate it when you are having a conversation with a spouse/friend/boss that you know you are being listened to?
Third: Long Term Thinking
If your child needs appropriate guidance, do it with respect and grace. Blaming, shaming or bribing may work short term to get the situation under control, however, it begs the question “What are you teaching your child/ren?” An excellent question to ask your child is “How would you solve XYZ?”. “What would you do?”
If you give your child the opportunity to solve the problem, your child will begin to learn to problem solve and own his/her solution. Letting your children own their solution is empowering your children, giving them confidence and a sense of accomplishment. This is long-term thinking. Will it be easy? Probably not at first, you will have some bumps along the way. Being consistent and doing it with love will bring Harmony Back Home!