Thursday, February 6, 2014

Managing Meltdowns

I am not a mom yet but I have been preparing for motherhood since the day I could hold a baby doll. Growing up, whenever I saw a child throwing a massive tantrum or becoming aggressive toward their parents, my immediate assumption was that the parents must be doing something wrong and that that would never be me! I don't think I was alone in my ignorance of blaming parents for crazy child meltdowns.  Is this not the epitome of annoying and frustrating for you all?

Recently I was forwarded an article titled, "Managing Aggressive Behavior in Young Children: 7 Positive Strategies from Kidpower for Preventing Meltdowns". I thought this article was great for anyone who spends any amount of time around kids. It is a little long so if you don't have time to read the entire thing, I have happily summed it up for you. 

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1.Understand that children sometimes have difficulty staying in charge of their behavior.

Children's brains are still developing and they do not have the same ability to control themselves that adults do. You can start teaching your child coping skills from a young age, which will teach them how to stay in control of their behavior. 

2. Identify and reduce causes of stress that trigger outbursts

Some commons triggers for children include: transitions, being too hot or too cold, needing more sleep, needing more space, being over stimulated, and needing more physical activity. See the article for more details. 

3. Teach children how to recognize and manage the feeling and actions that lead to unsafe behavior

The article suggests you actually practice with your kids! So make up some situations where your child might get angry and then have them practice walking away, closing their mouth, putting their hands away etc. Then, if a negative situation arises, you can remind them about what you practiced and ask them to show you what they know. The article lists a few different activities to try. 

4. Create a plan for how to prevent and handle outbursts

Different situations will cause different reactions, so prepare your child for a whole variety of them. Make a plan on how he or she should react when a toy gets stolen, when you say no, when their little sister hits them etc. 

5. Understand and stay in charge of your own emotional triggers

Don't lose control of yourself just because your child has lost control of himself. This one relates to number six which is to-

6. Be a powerful, respectful adult leader when taking charge of an out of control child

You are setting the example for your child on what is appropriate behavior, so plan accordingly as you address an out of control child. 

7. If you are responsible for other people's children, make a plan and get permission

The article is pretty long and much more detailed. Click here for the full article! If you have any further questions or concerns, post your questions below and we will be happy to help! 

1 comment:

  1. This is a great article with many helpful ideas. Thanks!