Managing your child’s BIG EMOTIONS – Tips on how to control those fiery moments

As a parent we all have those days.

We rush home from school, unpack backpacks, get rid of soggy uneaten muesli bars….try and find the hat was ‘lost’, all while trying to cope with a child who won’t follow simple instructions.

We can picture the scenario now – stressed out parent, emotional tired child – it’s a tinder box of emotions and can culminate into a full-blown outburst.

It is at this exact points parents can fall into a trap of trying to fight fire with fire. As your child continues to more disregulated and angry, as parents we try to enforce consequences and punishments.

“If you don’t turn down the TV, no iPad for a week!”

“If you don’t put your shoes away, you won’t go to Emily’s birthday party!”

As parents we want to enforce a ’teaching moment’ or consequence at a point in time which simply won’t work, and will in turn create even more of an emotional storm.

How do we control this moment? Let’s look at some simple tips.

Three Key Tips to Control BIG Emotions

Break the pattern

Immediately do something to break the pattern and halt the moment of heightened emotions. Stop the spiraling and escalation of anger and raised voices as this simply will not work. If you can feel it getting heated – it’s time to just stop.

It is your role as the adult to take charge in the situation and continuing to add to it will only escalate things further.

Be creative with your actions

After we have brought in an immediate halt to the situation, do something completely out of the ordinary to help calm yourself and the child. When your child has become dysregulated they require your support to get back in charge of their emotions.

Perhaps you can lie on a bed and have a quick cuddle? You can talk to your child and name their feelings, letting them know you understand they are overwhelmed. Or the situation may need something completely out of the ordinary such as switching on the TV and have 10 minutes of quiet time watching a cartoon as a distraction from the emotion? Take some time to just ‘be’ and help everyone gain a little more stability and calmness.

Choose the right moment to teach

Once everyone has calmed down it’s then time to consider when you’d like to discuss the issue that erupted.

It could be an hour after, or it can even be the next day. You will know when the right time is to have a calm conversation about what happened and how it made you feel.

“Yesterday when you did x, it made me feel y, can we work together to stop this happening?”

Your teaching moment will only be effective when emotions are regulated.

Parenting is, and most probably always will be, the toughest job on earth and don’t feel discouraged if you face multiple emotional outbursts as this is the same for all of us.

What will help however is working through the tips above to help create a better response of emotional outbursts.

Don’t forget – you are awesome!

At Child Development Solutions Australia, we are always here to support you and your family through trying times. If you find yourself not coping with any of the mentioned above, please feel free to get in touch with our caring staff.