Do you take it personally when your child has a meltdown?
You feel your buttons getting pushed and resort to the knee jerk reactions of yelling, screaming and punishing, only to feel the rush of guilt afterwards?
You wish you knew a different way of handling these moments but just “Don’t know what to do!”
You are definitely not alone. This is a huge issue that so many mums come to see me for solutions.
Dealing with our child’s big emotions can be really tricky, so I am going to give you some real strategies you can implement right away.
Firstly, it’s important to understand that:
1. Emotions are just energy and are meant to flow – E-Motion energy in motion
2. The behaviour your child is exhibiting is an expression of an underlying issue.
What Are Emotions?
Emotions are meant to be felt – Too often, we have been brought up to believe it is okay to feel happiness, joy, excitement…but it is not good to show we are angry, frustrated, overwhelmed.
Emotions are not good or bad, they are just energy in motion and this energy is meant to flow through our bodies.
Our emotions are how our body communicates to us, when we are out of alignment with our purpose such as feeling anger, frustration or anxiety or we are in alignment with our truth and purpose such as feeling happiness, joy and appreciation.
The problem arises when we inadvertently teach our children how to judge, criticise and label our emotions as good or bad.
When we do this our children then classify anger and sadness as bad emotions and feel shame when they have these feelings.
When the solution is quite the opposite, we need to allow our children to feel their emotions, this way the energy is allowed to flow and be released rather than become stuck in their energy fields causing ongoing replays of these tantrums.
The fact is when a child feels angry they are giving us feedback.
The behaviour is just a symptom of a deeper issue. They want to be heard and understood not shamed and punished for their behaviour.
So, how do we support our child with their emotional meltdowns?
We want our children to feel into the energy of the emotion but to not act out from the emotion.
We need to validate our children’s emotions and not make them feel wrong for feeling them – and allow that energy to flow.
WHY KIDS HAVE TANTRUMS AND MELTDOWNS?
Our children act out with misbehaviour for a reason.
Their behaviour is a way of expressing an underlying message.
Some of the messages they could be saying is:
I don’t know how to say what is wrong with me
I don’t feel heard
I feel like I don’t have a say
I feel like I don’t have a choice.
Over stimulated nervous system.
So if you can see this as a plea for help from your child rather than feeling like they are personally attacking you.
If you punish your children or judge their behaviour, this just reinforces to them that they are not worthy.
DURING THE MELTDOWN
The following technique I am about to introduce to you is wonderful to use during an emotional outburst.
The main reasons being:
1. It stops you from lowering your own energy to fear, anger and frustration and not be in a situation to support your child.
2. Instead of judging your child’s behaviour as ‘bad’ you will be able to find out the cause of the behaviour and stop the behaviour repeating.
It is always important to check in with your own energy first.
If you can feel yourself being triggered start with:
1. Pause and check your own energy
If you are feeling triggered by your child’s behaviour then your vibration will drop and you will approach your child from reactive behaviour rather than responding.
By pausing before approaching we create that space to shift our energy and we can do this by embracing the breath
This will lift your energy and ground you in the present moment.
The breath is extremely powerful tool to shift our energy within seconds from the Sympathetic Nervous System of fight and flight to the Parasympathetic Nervous System of calm.
Take 3 slow deep breathes where your exhalation is longer than your inhalation.
3. Support Your Child
You are now able to embrace the situation from a high vibrational energy. This in itself is extremely supportive to your child, they are able to feel our supportive energy.
Let them know you are here to support them
What can I do to support you?”
If your child shuts you out then move away, respect their space and say “I am here when you are ready”
No blame and no judgement.
4. Validate their emotions
By validating your child’s emotions, it makes them feel safe and not wrong for feeling this way.
Let them know it generally takes 90 seconds to fully feel an emotion.
“I see you are upset and angry and that’s okay”
“When you are ready, let me know when you are ready to talk”
5. Allow emotions to flow technique
Give your child permission to feel their emotion.
Guide them to connect what is happening within their body. Ask them what their body is feeling, what colour is the emotion and where it is in their body.
Then guide them to find happiness within their body and as they breathe deeply the happiness expands.
6. Look for Triggers
Once your child has reached a calm state ask them questions about their behaviour and see if you can both work out some triggers that can warn you a meltdown is building up.
That way you are able to step in with action steps to reduce or even stop a meltdown occurring.
Ask: “What were you feeling? Physical cues? Situations that trigger?
In order for you to best support your child when they are experiencing BIG emotions or a really challenging experience, you need to be full of positive, supportive and compassionate energy.
It is important that YOU create this bubble of high vibrational energy within and around you first to empower you to be able to flow that energy towards your child and support them in the highest way possible.
I hope my observations inspire you and this post helps you to see what is possible for you and your child and how much is in your control.
Leave me a comment below and tell me which action steps you will implement.
Now, go and take action, you now have some simple steps to help create the ideal family life you desire and deserve.