You may think that your child is explosive, but the reality is that your child needs to learn to understand their emotions and also needs your guidance to be able to self-regulate and adapt to different situations. It is very important that parents have enough tools to help their children to control these intense emotions. But remember, control does not mean blocking or camouflaging, controlling means understanding them, giving them a name and looking for an appropriate response to better channel that intense emotion. But how to get it?
Explain to your child where the great emotions come from
When there is high emotion driving difficult behavior, it is a sign that there is not much distance between the stimulus that has upset the child and the short (and quite automatic) response. When children are emotionally upset, the most impulsive part of their brain kicks in. The problem is that it all happens so fast, and the thinking part of the brain doesn’t have time to steer kids toward a healthier response.
Children need to extend that emotional distance to stop acting so impulsively and to know what is the correct information to take into account. It is important to explain things in a way that they understand you, with a vocabulary appropriate to their age and understanding.
Strengthen your brain with mindfulness
Mindfulness has great benefits for children’s brains. The brain that leads to high emotion is strengthened so that impulsiveness can be worked on so that it is not so problematic. The prefrontal cortex (the thinking part of the brain that is capable of calming emotions and considering the consequences in order to choose the best action) is also strengthened. As if that were not enough, mindfulness also strengthens the connections between the two, which means that in moments of great emotion, the prefrontal cortex will be faster and more able to work with the emotional centers of the brain to find calm. .
beware of expectations
It is very important not to expect more from children than they are capable of, given their stage of development. Young children do not have the ability to remain calm and reason all the time. Punishing them for the lack of self-regulation will not allow them to understand what they have done wrong or how to improve that behavior. Punishment doesn’t help anything, and you run the risk of shame taking over your sense of security.
Children need to explore different shapes in order to respond appropriately. Children choosing the best action because they know it is the right thing to do is a more lasting and more powerful response than anything that drives them to do something out of fear of the consequences. They must choose how to act having the power to choose their own actions.
With love and firmness everything goes better
It may be tempting to smooth things over to avoid a tantrum or emotional outburst, but that won’t do your child’s learning of good behavior and self-regulation any favors. Your son needs to have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and be able to manage her emotions (all valuable and important). Don’t try to fix everything that happens and offer him the opportunity to calm down on his own with your constant emotional support. When your child engages in explosive behavior, he should feel the confidence and emotional support that you are by his side, but at the same time, he should have his own responsibility to calm down and carry out the consequences of the behavior.
Children need your guidance, support, understanding and respect in order to understand their emotions and find the right path. Allow him to feel, guide his emotions.