Every time we talk about issues related to positive discipline, about banishing punishments or not blackmailing in education, there is a question that you ask us a lot: and what do we do when he gets very angry and assaults or insults us? How can we manage emotional outbursts from calm, love and respect, without losing our nerves?
The truth is that in these situations it is very difficult for us to remain calm and not resort to shouting or threats. That is why we have compiled some of the tips to manage the emotional outbursts of our children that three great experts deal with in their books (whose reading we recommend, without a doubt). Let’s see them!
Respond aggressively to emotional outbursts
Amaya de Miguel explains to us in her book Relax and educate. Effective solutions for everyday conflicts that “In most cases, the authoritarian reaction of the adult does not stop the insults and the only thing it serves is to increase tension between family members. That child, who was so angry that he did not know how to filter his words, after the strong reaction of the adults will be even more angry and it will be more difficult for him to choose which terms he uses ”.
“Until we understand that respect is earned with admiration and not fear, instead of educating we will be training.”
Along the same lines, María Soto, an expert in positive discipline, tells us in her book Educa Bonito that “Firmness does not sound like a slam, fuss, or snort. Firmness sounds like understanding and respect. To compassion and connection. Because by setting limits, if it is not done in a respectful way, we can provoke everything that we were trying to avoid: we will achieve exactly the opposite of what we were looking for ”.
Therefore, and as María Soto points out, “until we understand that respect is earned with admiration and not with fear, instead of educating we will be training”.
What do I do when my child gets aggressive?
We are already clear that getting nervous and starting to scream will probably only fuel the inner fire of our son or daughter even more. But, then, what do we do when he starts insulting or attacking? Because we can’t let him behave that way and not intervene, of course.
The child psychologist Mª Luisa Ferrerós, in her book give me your hand, advises us that “first of all is to change the way we, the parents, approach the issue. We will opt for constructive communication, instead of destructive, since the label makes the child enter in a loop, so he gets frustrated, since his parents support the theory that he is like that ”.
In addition, the psychologist adds that “the next recommended step would be not being guided by a Google search and consulting with a professional,“It saves misunderstandings and fears that arise when we seek to solve things in an unprofessional way.”
Moreover, it is important vindicate the example. Many parents wonder where the child has gotten these behaviors if they do not talk or attack in this way at home. Amaya de Miguel recommends that we review our language: “Not only the words you use, but your tone, your body language, the volume of your voice and your facial gestures. Perhaps you humiliate and attack your child without using insults, with expressions such as: You have me fed up, I can’t take you anymore, with this child there is no way, always the same…”. Although we are not insulting, these gestures of contempt and humiliation are offensive to our children, and we cannot forget that they learn from our example.
How to approach emotional outbursts from calm
Addressing these situations calmly and respectfully is not synonymous with being permissive or not setting limits. “Your mission is to contain the child who is in a strong emotional outburst, so do not be afraid speak firmly and assertively: you will be creating healthy boundaries, providing security, containing a runaway child and reinforcing family values ”, Amaya points out from Miguel. And he adds: “Tell your child that you understand his anger, that you understand that he wants to express it, that he has to express it in another way and name the positive behavior: in this family we do not insult, it hurts a lot when you insult me O I can’t help you while you attack me”.
It is essential that we understand that in the middle of the explosion we will not be able to dialogue with our son. We will have to wait for it to calm down
It is also very important that we understand that in the middle of the explosion we will not be able to talk to our son, Well, “you are experiencing an internal tsunami and your words will not be received in the part of the brain that could process them. So don’t try to explain to him then why he doesn’t have to insult you. At another time, when the outburst is over, teach your child to identify his difficulties, ”Amaya recommends.
What’s behind emotional outbursts and bad behaviors
As María Soto always reminds us, “Bad behaviors are bad decisions that tell us about a need. And in the face of their poorly expressed need, many times we only take into account how they express it, not what they really feel ”. This is where it comes in iceberg theory:
To understand this theory, Maria gives us an example: “Imagine that my eldest son beats my youngest daughter and I punish him to penalize her behavior (visible part of the iceberg). However, I do not look at the invisible part of the iceberg to understand what is motivating him to hit his sister. In this case, he does it because he is jealous. Tomorrow, instead of hitting him, he will hide his toys. I will punish him again. But his mistaken belief (thinking that I love his sister more) will still be there ”.
That is why it is very important that we know how to see what is behind bad behaviors and also that we help our children to identify those difficulties or motivations that are leading them to behave in that particular way.
How to help them reduce the intensity of emotional outbursts
Amaya de Miguel offers us multiple options in her book to stop emotional outbursts and lower the level of our son’s outburst: “Whenever you can, remove the aggressiveness of your children Through the game”. Amaya tells us that she practiced taekwondo and that when one of her sons gets aggressive, “I get into a fighting stance and give a couple of instructions in Korean. They look at me, laugh and say: How weird you are! And the aggressiveness is lowered ”.
“The game is a very powerful tool with which we can get many things from our children”
The creator of Relax and Educate has baptized this as “playful discipline”, a tool that she proposes to us to get that “the brain of your son or daughter is unlocked so that they can think clearly again. And the game can help you achieve it. ” If you are interested in knowing more examples, it is sure to be great to see this presentation in which Amaya proposed us many alternatives to act in certain situations that usually lead us to lose our nerves.
Last but not least, it is important to emphasize our children’s need to feel unconditionally loved. “Children who abuse frequently need to know that they are lovedSo you have to make him feel it every day, especially those where things have been worse. Children are aware of the damage they do and this makes them feel bad and worthless, so a single appreciative look from adults allows them to build internal security and feel that they have good things to contribute to the world, ”says Amaya de Miguel.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.