How to deal with meltdowns and anger of your child
All of us have experienced the heartbreak of witnessing a child weeping in a store or on the playground. Most households can relate, having been through something similar with their own children.
The common perception is that a child is having a temper tantrum. One possible outcome, though, is a complete breakdown. In addition, if you’ve ever dealt with a youngster experiencing a meltdown, you know that the two situations require distinct responses.
Here are some methods for controlling explosive emotions and preventing meltdowns.
Strategies for controlling a temper tantrum
When children are unhappy, angry, or disappointed, or when they don’t get their way, it’s not uncommon for them to throw tantrums. Kids often throw tantrums, but being on the receiving end of their anger may be difficult.
Fortunately, temper tantrums are typically something kids can at least partially manage. Many young people are able to modify their behaviour in response to the reactions of those around them. Preventing tantrums from ever occurring is also possible.
If you want to put an end to temper tantrums once and for all, try the following strategies.
Decide on a mutually understood expression of exasperation.
Have a conversation with your kid about what it means to “become frustrated” in your eyes. Inquire further if there is anything specific your child would like you to check for. Then, agree on a cue, like a tug on your earlobe that will let you know your youngster is becoming frustrated. Have a conversation about how you will both utilize the signal to bring the matter to a peaceful resolution.
Designate a quiet area
Locate a quiet area that you can call your own at home. It’s not necessary to go all out. To illustrate, use a chair that your kid enjoys using as an example. Make it clear that this is a place for reflection and relaxation, not a detention cell. When you need to use the frustration signal, send your child there so he or she may cool off for a while. (You might have to reassure your child at first that there is a safe haven where he or she can go to cool off.)
Consider the source of the outburst
There’s no guarantee that sending a signal or finding a quiet place will help. If you are unable to prevent a tantrum, investigate its root cause. Knowing the origin can help diffuse the situation immediately. And it aids in figuring out how to steer clear of such problems in the future.
Have unambiguous goals set
Communicate your expectations for your child’s behaviour openly and often. For example, “When you speak to me in a calmer voice, then we can talk this through,” is an example of a when-then statement. Your kid can decide for themselves whether or not to follow through. (Here’s a blank when-then chart you may fill up with your kid and use as a teaching tool.)
Validate your kid’s emotional experiences
Even though your child is acting out, that doesn’t make his or her emotions any less real. Try to understand how your child feels and give him or her words for those emotions. I know you’re mad at me because I told you to turn off the video game, for instance. When I have to stop doing something I enjoy, I become angry, too.
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Ignore it and go on
Taking no action can be the most effective course of action. Perhaps the focus you’re giving your child’s tantrum is encouraging the behaviour. Sometimes it’s best to just let things cool down and not reply.
When you want to witness more of a certain kind of conduct, say so.
Praise your youngster when he or she is able to regain composure and settle down. Describe your child’s accomplishments in detail. For example, someone might utter, “It was difficult for you to avoid yelling as you were disturbed. Nice work taking a break to calm down. Let’s have a serious discussion about this now.
Techniques for Calming Flaring Tempers
Having a meltdown is a physiological response to emotional distress. Extreme tantrums are out of a child’s control and are more extreme than regular tantrums.
Meltdown management is more challenging than tantrum control. A complete explosion can be avoided if you know the causes. A meltdown may be impossible to prevent, but there are methods to respond that will help your child restore composure.
Learn your child’s emotional hot buttons
Your child may not be reacting to something evident, and they may be different from child to child. Some children may experience sensory or emotional overload. It could be painful and frightening adjustments for some people. Finding out what sets off your child’s meltdowns can be a huge relief.
Your child may be showing signs of anxiety before school or afterward. Perhaps tantrums seem to occur right before bedtime or dinner. Possible stimuli include being hungry or tired. As an alternative, you may realise that some environments, such as busy or loud areas, are conducive to their occurrence.
Recognize the building tension.
You may be able to prevent a full-blown meltdown by assisting your child in calming down if you recognise the warning signals in time. Typical early warning indicators include:
· Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or providing answers
· Over-analyzing a situation and asking the same questions
· Negatively reacting to authority or refusing to work with others
· Attempting to escape or conceal oneself by blocking out or ignoring sensory input (such as sounds or visuals).
· Behaviors indicative of restlessness, such as pacing or fidgeting
Having complaints about one’s health, such as lightheadedness or chest pain, is common.
Divert attention away from the initial incident
In rare cases, the escalation phase can be halted for the child. Try diverting your kid’s attention with something else.
A patient attitude is required
You could feel compelled to act swiftly in an effort to prevent a crisis from worsening. It usually gets worse when people talk quickly and loudly. Be patient and allow your child some time to think about what you’re saying. Keep your words brief and simple to eliminate the need for your child to make decisions.
While the system was going downhill
Ensure safety first
It can feel like an emergency when your child is shouting and flinging objects. Even so, that doesn’t prove it to be so. To think about is whether or not anyone is hurt or at risk of being hurt.
If you want to know if your child prefers physical distance or a firm hug or touch, there’s no substitute for trial and error. Although maintaining a steady tone and demeanour is beneficial in any circumstance. If your child is feeling anxious or out of control, reassuring him or her that you are present might help a great deal.
Allow for some breathing room
When in a public setting, it’s best to help your child find a calmer corner. In the event that you are at home, try directing your youngster to a quiet area. If you can’t take your kid elsewhere, politely request some personal space.
Reduce the volume, number four
Dim the lights, lower the volume, and avoid making your child feel trapped. You can try standing to one side if your home-bound kid won’t budge. (Kids may feel trapped if they have to wait outside the door.)
Prepare for life after the breakdown
If you want to avoid triggering another meltdown, plan for how to reengage with your child as soon as possible after the initial one ends. In some cases, you will have to cancel your shopping excursion. If the outburst was caused by a particularly emotional discussion, you may want to change the subject. The following time you bring it up for discussion, try a fresh tack.
After the crisis
You need to rest and become better
Your child may experience feelings of shame or guilt as they calm down. You may also have physical fatigue. Let your kid calm down before trying to talk to them.
Identify a convenient time to have a conversation
Your guidance can aid your youngster in making sense of the situation. However, it’s probably not the best time right after a breakdown. When you’re both feeling relaxed, try these strategies:
Prepare your kid for what’s coming
Notify your youngster ahead of time that you intend to speak with him or her and reassure him or her that nothing has gone wrong.
Sometimes, when kids talk about having a meltdown, it makes them feel guilty and defensive. Have your opinion, but try to avoid repeating yourself too much.
Confirm your kid has grasped the concept
Have your kid fill you in on the conversation you just had and any questions they may have had. Check to see if your kid can replicate your strategy if you’ve come up with one.
It takes practice to manage meltdowns and control outbursts
You and your child can benefit from learning to spot the signals and from learning to teach coping techniques.
· Be clear head and conscious.
· Never let emotions drive you.
· Assigning a “quiet area” helps reduce the frequency and severity of outbursts.
· If you ignore a child having a tantrum, it may stop.
· Finding out what sets off your child’s meltdown and learning how to avoid it is a great parenting skill.