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Ch 3: Scheduled Meltdown?

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  • Ch 3: Scheduled Meltdown?


    On pg 131 Dr. Laura Markham writes: "When storm clouds brew, even the most well-intentioned parent can get triggered and escalate the upset rather than calm it. But that's when your child most needs your help to learn to regulate".


    She provides some tips (I'll write more of them later) and one is "Choose a scheduled meltdown. When you notice that your child's behavior is rigid, demanding, or off-track, it's time for a "scheduled meltdown". Ignoring his behavior and hoping he'll get into a better mood will result in an escalation of acting out until he ends up in a full-fledged upset, usually at the most inconvenient time for you. Instead, move into a "scheduled meltdown" on your own schedule -- while you're still calm enough to stay compassionate."


    When reading this I was wondering how in the world can you "schedule a meltdown" and I still wonder the same thing. Any thoughts?

  • #2
    I have actually attempted this several times recently with my 6 and 13 year olds. When I see a storm brewing, I stop, try to put into words what I think is bothering the child and see if I can draw out the tears ( ala Gordon Neufeld). Usually, the child will start to complain about the issue and it is my moment to say, " I know you want ____. You feel ____because you can't do it adn I have to stay with NO right now because____." The firm limit delivered in a kind way unleashes a torrent of either sadness or anger. That's the wall of futility. If I have thought it through ( and Dr. M says you must before you ever attempt this) I can compassionately come alongside the child and still remain the wall. At some point the child will push against me or struggle in some way until he wears down and leans into me. That's when I become the angel of comfort. Some big emotions have been purged and we can move on with what needs to be done next.

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    • #3
      Wow, this surprised me that it even still works with your 13 year old. I have a 9.5 year old and she's gotten very moody and sometimes I think the No pushes her to a brink as well. I wouldn't have thought that this would still work at her age.

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