The #1 Calm Down Strategy Most Parents Overlook
It seems counterintuitive, but the one of the first things I teach parents is how you can recognize and care for yourself before we work on addressing your child’s behavior. Parents often think “If I can just get my kid’s behavior under control, THEN I can finally read that book, or sign up for Zumba, or take that weekend away to golf.” The truth is, without the patience to manage those meltdowns, your child cannot successfully achieve that change you’re hunting.
And the fact is, you’re wondering if that trip will ever come for you if things keep going down this path. You’ve been trying all sorts of coping skills. You’re on the right track, part of preparing your kid for the world is teaching him/her when to take a break when they’re overwhelmed. (You know it’s not just about figuring out how to toughen up and accept the fact that there are bad things that happen in this world, move on, and get over it.)
Highly Sensitive kids are the catalyst for change in our society, and they can’t act on what subtleties they notice in the world without support in knowing when to retreat into calm.
The first step towards setting them up for success is modeling this for them, EVEN when it seems like you have NO TIME to do it given how many meltdowns they have each day!
Reach out to see what will help you regain peace in your home.
Most parents we speak to feel stuck with their teen’s big feelings, because when they try to help problem solve their met with “you don’t get it!” or “that’s not gonna work!” It can feel like you’re just trying to keep your head from being bitten off.
When teens share their frustration or their worry, (or huffs and puffs and door slamming) they don’t want you to try and fix the problem. Your teen probably already knows what they need to do. The problem they’re having is whether they feel secure in trusting their gut, or a worry that they’ll make it worse if they can’t get their big feelings under control.
Because when you go through life feeling ALL THE FEELINGS all the time, you can eventually get numb to them until you explode. So if your teen is sensitive, or a perfectionist, this might lead them to judge themselves or feel ashamed for even having feelings about something that didn’t go well in the first place.
So, when you point out a solution, (we get it, it’s automatic, you’re just trying to help!) you’re met with resistance in it’s ugliest form. Can put a damper on your vacation, can’t it?
So, instead of jumping to help your teen problem solve, clasp your hands tightly. Give your mouth a zipper, and nod. Repeat back to your teen what you heard. Even the last three words your teen said as a lead in question: “it’s not working?” Can help your teen feel heard. Listened to. And obtain the freedom to slow down enough to get their spinning thoughts under control.
Here’s the catch: this skill doesn’t always work like a magic wand. It’s the tip of the iceberg. And let’s face it, your teen still needs to learn how to slow down their reactions so you’re not met with constant irritability when you try to help.
If that’s something you want support or direction with, reach out for a complimentary call. We’ll talk about what works best for you and your teen to learn the skills to help life a more peaceful life.
We often hear from parents who say their child is reportedly a “perfect angel” at school, holding it all in and then exploding at home.
If your Highly Sensitive child or teen clamps their lid on tight like a pressure cooker, explosive behavior is likely to show up at home often.
Highly Sensitive kids and teens often know that their teachers or peers wouldn’t react well to seeing them cry, yell, or have a meltdown, and so as a parent, you’re left holding the bag of an explosive child/teen as a result.
It may seem counterintuitive to “bother” the school with this information, but parents whom we help change this dynamic celebrate when we help them get the school on board towards helping their HSC learn to de-stress DURING the school day.
It’s not easy, your HSC is probably quite embarrassed and disinterested in sharing their challenges with school professionals, so it’s a delicate conversation to have with both your child and the school.
This is why we are hosting a workshop for you.
In it we will teach all about how to:
-Support your child in a loving way and model the very important skill of asking for help
-Change your understanding of your child’s needs so that you can speak about their challenges in the context of their strengths to the teacher
-Know exactly how to explain your child/teen’s temperament in a developmentally appropriate way so that your child/teen becomes their own advocate rather than a turtle hiding in their shell assuming adults will read their mind when they need help
Click this link to find out more:
Parents often ask how to deal with the meltdowns after school, most specifically how to stop a meltdown. Makes sense, the emotional bombs after school are unreal, and you know your kid is not just hangry. This isn’t a Snicker’s commercial!
This is a critical mistake. Searching for a magic wand (or 10) to use during a meltdown is ineffective at helping your HSC develop skills to manage the stress of school.
You need to focus on teaching your child to avoid the overwhelm that leads to the meltdown in the first place. How do you do that? You need a team. Your KID needs a team.
Think of how long your kid is going to be in school; what lesson are you teaching if you’re focusing on ‘riding it out’ until they deal with it at home? Pacing that emotional overwhelm and dealing with it IN THE MOMENT is the only way your child will learn to be an effective member of society. Isn’t that the end game?
Our Back to School Workshop helps with exactly that. Decreasing the overwhelm in the first place & getting the school on board with supporting your child is the first step. Next, helping your child develop those skills to decrease the overwhelm through the day in a way that helps avoid his/her sense of being the center of attention when using them is crucial.
That’s right. I KNOW your HSC struggles to ask for help for fear of being judged or seeming like a burden. These strategies don’t need to include permission from a teacher.
Learn more about setting your sensitive child/teen up for success for the duration of this school year, click the link below to learn more:
“Is that why you’ve been so angry lately?” Often genuine curiosity like this from a parent is met with a scoff or an eye roll from their teen. We’re here to tell you why that is, and how to get around it.
It’s easy to worry about why your teen is acting a certain way, whether that be yelling, isolating in their room, never being home, or talking until wee hours of the night on FaceTime with their boyfriend, (literally doing nothing….it’s just on in the background).
When you notice behavior like this it’s hard to figure out the cause in order to stop it. Especially if your teen won’t open up.
What we know is that validating your teen in the moment is the best and most effective way to learn more about what your teen is thinking.
When you inquire with your teen about why they’re feeling a certain way, they may or may not tell you…
…either because they don’t know, or because the way you ask why is missing the mark for your teen in the moment they’re being emotionally vulnerable with you, so they clam up.
When you help your teen know that their emotions are normal and to be expected (don’t confuse emotions with behavior!) your teen automatically feels understood.
What happens when a teen feels understood? They share more.
If your teen is struggling with anxiety, depression, or is healing from a traumatic experience, it’s crucial that you know how to validate.
Telling your teen “it makes perfect sense that you feel like that… especially given what just happened” helps your teen know you GET IT.
You may not have all the answers, that’s what our support is for, but when you’re ready to listen and hear how your teen feels their feelings deeply, your teen is bound to share more often.
To learn more about what works to support your teen in managing big emotions and to open up, click the link below:
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Mount Airy, MD 21771