Dear Dr. Renee,
We’ve had a lot happening in the past few weeks. Due to less sleep and a number of other things, there have been a lot of tantrums. How do I stay calm when my child is not?
It is so hard to remain calm when you have a lot going on and everyone is tired. Even more so when you have a child who likes to push your buttons…
Here are four ways to help you stay calm during your child’s tantrum.
Find the one that feels most comfortable and most DO-able to you and start there.
1. Take Care of the Care Taker.
Yep- if you’ve been following or working with me at all, you’ve heard this before.
When you are tired or hungry your ability to calm yourself down when facing a tantrum declines dramatically. Work hard to get some sleep or eat if you are hungry. That might mean tag-teaming with a partner, a neighbor, or hiring a babysitter for a few hours so you can catch a break.
2. Choose a Mantra.
Some people think this is “woo woo” but having a mantra can help keep you on track when your child starts to tantrum.
Repeating something as simple as “I can stay calm” or “I really do love this child” can help relax your brain in the heat of the moment.
3. Count to 10.
This is the age-old remedy that does work if you are able to do it. Sometimes when we are in the heat of the moment, it is not the first things that comes to mind!
4. Step Away.
Remove yourself, or your child, from the situation. Depending on the age and maturity of your child, you might be able to walk to a different room. If not, even moving to another side of the room gives you a bit of space and a chance to breathe before tackling the tantrum.
The reason these last three actions work is because they cause you to stop and slow down for a few moments before responding.
Ideally, being proactive and taking care of ourselves is the way to go. However, as we know…
So, in the heat of the moment, if we can take a few moments to state a mantra, breathe, or step away before reacting, there’s a chance we will give our brains a moment to think. We will be able to pull from resources instead of shouting the first thing that comes to our mind. It might help prevent us from saying something we might later regret.
I hope things calm down for you and your family soon,
If you are want a little more personalized help, please schedule a brief call HERE. I always offer a complimentary first call to see if parents and I are a good fit.
If you liked this blog, another one that you might find helpful is Feet Off the Floor Time.