Jamie Jensen

Don't Have Patience During a Meltdown?

Don’t have patience during a meltdown? Oh yeah… I’m with you. This month I have worked very hard on my ability to keep a calm voice. I’ve even written “calm voice” in pen on my hand to help me remember.

For now, I want to focus on what you can do as a parent, teacher, or leader to help your serenity. We all generally know what is best for the child and we all can improve! But I think it is worth mentioning how I stay calm as a person as well. Here is what helps me:

  1. Wholesome words. I collect them. Even if they feel insincere or unauthentic I say something like, “I can see you’re upset. Let’s talk when you’re calm. If you choose to kick me, you choose to go back in the car. What do you choose?”
  2. Get down below their line of sight (if possible). Dan Siegel mentions this technique in his book “Whole Brain Child”. This helps the child with their spasming brain, but also helps me to get low and get grounded.
  3. Cover my face with my hands for ten seconds. I don’t know why this helps. I think it reminds me to breathe. I think it also shows my kids I’m overwhelmed and not a robot who can stay calm 24/7. I display to them in a simple way what I’m truly feeling.
  4. Walk (the $*^%) away. I don’t think you can force patience or understanding! Especially in the moment. I think walking away is sometimes the most loving thing I can do for my child.
  5. Promise myself some peace and quiet after it is done. I promise myself that I will skip an errand, give up a responsibility, get a babysitter, or whatever I need to do to recover from being screamed at - and it does take recovery.

I hope that helps! And I hope that you can remember your true worth - even when that tiny human you love so much is unhappy with you. You’re still you.

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