It’s happened again; in mid meltdown your child looks you in the eye and says, “YOU made me feel this way!” And while you could argue that you have no control over her emotions, you know that the issue goes much deeper than that. So how do you build her emotional IQ?
Use this guiding principle as your problem-behavior mantra: I am teaching my child to look inside herself first, rather than blaming others. Big task, and it can be easy to do. Next time you and your child are engaged in a struggle; stop, take a breathe and show her how you are reacting. Label your emotions in the moment and then accept responsibility for them. You’ll be surprised how quickly she starts doing the same thing for herself.
Don’t take the easy way by banishing “bad” behavior into a “time-out.” When you react in anger and send your child away in punishment, she doesn’t learn to express her emotions or solve the problem because you’ve just done both for her. Instead set up a problem-solving technique your family can access, even in times of stress. Need help setting one of these up? Access our Parent Coaching services here.
And remember: anger and punishment put your child’s brain in “fight or flight mode” and generate fear. This is not a “teachable moment.” The message her brain receives is “don’t make mistakes or I’ll get yelled at.” And what you want to be teaching is genius level emotional tactics – how to trust in ones’ self and the tools to cope with overwhelming events with grace.
Want more ideas to decrease stress? Call/email us today to schedule your private parenting consultation at 651-705-6665 / Schedule@BrighteningConnections.com