What do I do with my kid or teen’s emotions? They are so sensitive! He sobs uncontrollably! She screams and screams! Nothing stops them!
I hear this from parents all the time.
Sometimes these feelings exist because they are going through bullying or other traumatic issues. But, sometimes it's just because of every-day emotional lives of children and teens.
In my next 3 blog posts, I'm going to teach you how I handle my own kids emotions, and, how I coach my clients to make it through these stormy times.
Typically I first ask: What DO you do when their emotions are high?
Take a moment and think about your response to this question.
Often I hear these answers: I tell them to stop, I yell, I walk away, I tell them to stop crying, I distract them, I make a joke, I hug them but give up, I punish them, I try to problem solve, I put them in their room.
Fair. These times are SUPER hard. And, if we don't know how to handle these feelings, our go-to response is to shut them down ASAP so we can all breathe again.
But here's the thing: your child or teen is raging, because their stress hormone (cortisol) is super high. The only way to decrease their stress? Let them cry, scream, rage, bawl, yell, freak out.
But, the good news, is after these episodes - they are CALM. They are re-calibrated. They are happier... healthier... AND ready to problem solve.
Isn't that the goal? To try to ensure that this doesn't happen many more times?
Check my blog tomorrow for what to DO when you are in the midst of a meltdown, and, to get a nice visual guide you can download and have on hand when the next storm comes.
PS - If your child or teen is angry and hurting people or breaking things, that's NOT okay! Re-direct them to a safer place, and, allow them to continue to hit, but find something safe (like a pillow or couch cushion).
Kathleen is an anti-bullying specialist, a conflict coach, a teacher, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend...