The Number 1 Parenting Technique That Will Help Improve Your Childs Behavior
In a recent blog post I talk about the importance of tracking. It is such a powerful tool and the data you glean from it is invaluable. As part our our initial tracking we tracked our responses each time Samantha had an outburst. Whether it was the removal of a consequence, yelling back, doing nothing, talking calming, or giving a spanking. Each week we would try out a different technique to see what would happen. Any guesses as to which one worked best?
Talking calmly was the winner. I would place odds that if you opt for this approach you will have greater response too. Here's why?
If you have every sat around a campfire or a grill then you know how a fire works. All the wood is stacked up and piled on. The gasoline is squirted over the logs. Then the gentle touch of a match and POUF! The fire rages instantly. Over time the tall flames will shrink and if you do nothing it will eventually extinguish itself. But...if you throw more wood or fuel on the fire, it re-ignites into a huge flame. When you child is in a meltdown mode, they are engulfed in that moment; just like the initial fire. If you become angry and upset your negative energy becomes more fuel for them. Your emotions become their emotions and the cycle simply repeats itself. However, if you counter that negative energy with calm talk you start to rapidly diminish the fuel and the flare up with dissipate.
You have to remember, your child in this moment is overwhelmed with emotion. They are very unlikely able to control their actions without your help. They need you to be the PARENT and help guide them back to calm. They need you to show your love and support by staying calm.
I'll be honest this is not always easy to do. We all have stressful days, days where we don't feel good, are on a time crunch for something, or whatever. We all have break points where we can no longer control those emotions either. It's okay. We're all perfectly imperfect humans trying to do our best. If you feel like you are at that point, step away into another room, take 5 deep breaths, and let that emotion vibrate through your body. Recognize it's there. Absorb it and then come back to your screaming child when you are calm. Trust me. This does work and it will shorten the length of the tantrums significantly.
Next blog post I will share my 3 D's for diffusing meltdowns quickly.
Which response techniques works best for your child?