Let’s face it, we all get angry. For kids in particular, knowing what anger is and how to deal with it can be tremendously difficult. Heck, for many adults it’s difficult. In this Episode 75, we have Jason’s daughter Farrah sitting in on the conversation.
This episode is inspired by an article in Physchology Today written by Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids:
1. Take a deep breath. Remind yourself that there is no emergency. Keeping yourself calm will help them be calm.
2. Remind yourself that tantrums are nature’s way of helping small people let off steam. They still don’t really understand how to regulate anger. They are learning. Even as adults we often don’t do it right. Empathy works really good here.
3. Remember that anger comes from our “fight, flight or freeze” response. Feels like the end of the world to them. It’s protecting themselves from hurt.
4. Set whatever limits are necessary to keep everyone safe, while acknowledging the anger and staying compassionate. “You can stomp your feet to show me how mad you are, but I won’t let you hit me.” It is not ok to hit.
5. Set limits on actions only, not on feelings. I’m sorry this is so hard…You’re saying I never understand you…that must feel so terrible and lonely.”
6. Keep yourself safe. “I see you are really angry, you can hit the pillow or bed, but I won’t let you hit me. You’re saying I never understand you…that must feel so terrible and lonely.”
7. Stay as close as you can. When you are ready for a hug I’m here. When they say Go away, you can respond with “I’m going to move back a step, ok?”
8. Don’t try to reason or explain. It’s not a teaching moment.
9. Don’t try to evaluate whether he’s over-reacting. Of course they are. When they have over-react, we call it a meltdown or tantrum. When adults do it, we call it stress.
10. Acknowledging her anger will help her calm down a bit. “I’m so sorry you can’t have the toy you want, Sweetie. I’m sorry this is so hard.” I know you really wanted that.
Once again, it’s all about the empathy.