While a certain amount of tears are inevitable, half of my kids’ meltdowns can be diffused by a simple technique.
- Ground Yourself – two deep breaths for me
- Slow It Down – give both of us a chance to chill
- Mirror It Back – being understood is a basic human need
You’ll be amazed at the healing effect this has on the kids (and adults) around you. I’ve tried to make this my default response pattern and it works great.
The opposite method (quick automatic reactions) escalates most situations.
Let your kid be the hero – give her a chance to show you that she can handle whatever she faces.
Here’s a simple script…
- Daughter takes a spill and is on the edge of a meltdown.
- Dad: Wow! You just hit your knee
- Daughter: Sniffle, sniffle
- Dad: That must have really hurt when you hit your knee. You need ice?
- Daughter: It’s OK Dad, I’m alright
- Dad: You are a strong girl, Lexi.
I’m amazed by the number of times that my kids comfort me when I acknowledge what they are feeling.