Staying calm when our kids are not is an art. It’s not easy to resist jumping in to the mess, especially when they are aiming their drama (or frustration, temper, anger, rudeness, etc.) right at us – which kids do so well.
Recently, my son had an epic after-school meltdown. With allergy season in full force, and too much time passed before we got a solid protein snack into that little body, he was simply unable to cope. Screaming, making excuses…sound familiar to anyone else?
My husband handled it beautifully. He stayed calm, continued to provide clear, consistent direction, and didn’t take it personally that my son’s frustration intolerance – which came across as incredibly disrespectful behavior — had reached its limit. He didn’t resort to threats, or digs that would make things worse. Instead, he kept himself out of it!
Next time you notice that you feel disrespected because your child – at the end of his/her rope – was not able to hold it together, ask yourself: is this about me, or my child? If your child is intentionally being rude, that’s one thing. But if you recognize a child who is, honestly, past his/her limit, try to keep your focus on your child. If you keep yourself out of it, you can prevent escalation, and help your child learn to cope with your calm, matter-of-fact direction.