Does the following scenario sound familiar to you…
You are trying to interact with your child; but, your child is whining, complaining, not following the direction, dropping to the floor, etc. You begin to feel frustrated, your voice gets “sharp”, you are snapping or yelling.
You are so not alone!!!!
There are often times when I am scratching my head going “why are you acting this way” then it hits me like a brick!
This is typically when the reality that my son is feeding off my emotions, frustrations, and energies kicks into high gear.
Time to reset!!
How do I go about resetting??
The very first thing I do is acknowledge to my son that I do not like the way I am talking right now.
Then I tell him I need to take a minute. Typically, I just stand there and take some deep breathes. If I am really frustrated then I take a time out by going to the bathroom or walking to another room.
When I have my composure back, I apologize for my voice tone or behaviour. Then I take a couple of minutes to connect at my son’s level. (Stop, Drop, Connect) This is often enough to get his behaviour back in the desired direction.
If things improve then I have to let the previous behaviour go (easier said than done). This is when I replay the song “Let it Go” in my head :).
What do you do if your child has not been able to reset?
There have been many times when I have pulled myself together but our son is “too far gone”. He is immersed in his emotional release (aka tantrum) or undesired behaviour. Now it is time to help him.
I label his behaviour and talk him through his frustration or I give him the space to unload.
I will ask if he needs a minute or if he wants a hug. He usually takes the hug and then he resets.
You may be thinking this all sounds great but how can it be that easy?
In all reality, it is not always that easy.
When you are in the midst of these behaviours over and over again (toddlers and preschoolers are famous for that) it certainly does not feel easy.
There will be times where the resetting can take place after an epic 30 minute emotional release. This is when it is really important that you remind yourself that the calmer you remain the easier your reset becomes.
The positive thing that can come out of you resetting like this is that your child learns how to reset by following your example.
I have to admit the first time I saw our little man stand, take a deep breath and ask for a minute (“need break”) my heart swelled!!
If you have further questions I would love to hear from you. If you are a member of Parenting Foundations feel free to send me a private message or post in the private group. If you are not a member but would like to hear more about it, please click on the link beside this post.