If your child has meltdowns over everything and loses his temper all too often, these tips will help.
I am a child developmental therapist and I was also a teacher for many years before becoming a therapist. Behavior issues can stem from so many things, but while trying to the bottom of it, we need to help our child cope.
1. PRAISE THEM.
When our 5-year-old does anything praise-worthy, I praise!
- Nice to his sister? I’ll say, “Way to go. I loved how you helped her up!”
- If they didn’t cry when I say “No, we can’t go? I’ll say, “I love how you handled that like a big kid — not crying or whining.”
- If the are trying something new at dinner. I’ll say, “I’m so proud of you for trying that. You are really turning into a brave kid.”
2. TEACH HIM HOW TO GETAWAY
If your child has meltdowns, I have no doubt that you can see it coming before it actually becomes a full-out meltdown. We taught our 5-year-old to excuse himself before this happens.
When he starts to become frustrated, I simply say, Go ahead to your room to calm down. He stomps off, but he does go to his room and comes out when he is calm. Most times, he leaves (angry) by himself because he doesn’t want to have a meltdown with everyone around.
3. IDENTIFY THE REASON
For some kids, it is attention. For others, it is immaturity. For a few, it is sensory issues or some other underlying issue. For our son, it was a medical issue: lack of sleep. He was waking 8 times an hour, we soon found out after taking him to a sleep doctor because he always seemed tired and angry.
He had Central Sleep Apnea and it was causing his behavior to slide as the day went on. I would have felt awful not realizing this and just disciplining like normal.
4. BE CONSISTENT
You have got to be consistent. Above all. You have to understand that your child can’t see you sending him to calm down one day and yelling at him the next. Be consistent to make his life easier.
5. GIVE HIM AN OUT
We know that it will be worse when we are out of our ordinary routine, so I give him an out.
I’ll remind my child, “Listen, if you get frustrated at anyone when we are there today, I want you to come over and squeeze my hand really hard. I will help you. I promise.”
I always follow through.
It may still happen…
When your child has a meltdown or gets angry very quickly, remember that there is a reason, even if you don’t know it at the time.
Try to be understanding, but firm and consistent. This is how you can help your child the most.
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