1. Use your Pause Button to calm yourself.
- Stop (what you're doing.)
- Drop (your agenda, just for now.)
- Breathe (which gives you a choice about how to respond.)
2. Remember you're the role model.
Your job is to calm the storm. If you respond with anger, your child will get more dysregulated. Don't get hooked by your child's anger. Don't take it personally. Stay as calm as you can.
3. Listen, and Acknowledge your child's perspective.
Your child needs to feel heard, even if you don't agree with them. In any disagreement, each person thinks they're right. Rage doesn't begin to dissipate until it feels heard. Once your child feels understood, she doesn't have to escalate.
4. Create Safety so your child can get to the tears and fears under the anger.
Summon up all your compassion. Softening yourself makes it safe for your child to surface the more vulnerable feelings driving the anger. When your loving compassion meets her wound, she'll probably begin to cry, and the anger will no longer be necessary as a defense.
5. Wait to teach until your child feels re-connected and regulated.
You may feel an urgent need to set your child straight, but that's your "fight or flight" talking. You'll be more effective once you both calm down. (Don't worry. You know where he lives!)
Less drama. More love.
Click here for a Printable version of this article that you can post on your refrigerator!
Want more on supporting your child to learn how to manage anger in healthy ways?