Emotional Meltdowns in Children
Times are changing and so are children’s behavioral patterns. You might have often witnessed a child resting on a mall floor, crying out loud, and we pass by, thinking it’s quotidian and mundane.
We also recurrently term these as tantrums in children, but we are highly mistaken. These are in fact very powerful emotions that children find hard to muddle through. Reason being, they were never taught to face and replace them.
Normalising and ignoring children’s emotional issues are some real-life gaffes, parents often fall into. Instead, parents are supposed to corroborate through children’s sentiments. When they are uncontrollable, instead of saying ‘Stop throwing a tantrum’ or ‘It’s no big deal’, parents should rather say, ‘I understand what you’re going through’ or ‘I have gone through a similar experience in my childhood. Let me explain how I coped with it.’ This builds their confidence that it’s not all a train wreck.
Now giving them ways to come to grips with their strong emotions, comes in handy for children in times of crisis. There is no age when you can start giving them tips to help. When facing a meltdown, and if they’re at home, sleeping becomes the best therapy.
But, supposedly the child is out, they should space out for a while. Getting away from the heated situation would give them time to relax and they’ll be able calm themselves down.
Self-soothing is another technique that works wonders for children of any age. When children are taught to deal with their problems and pacify their own selves, they generally grow up to be more confident and less temperamental beings. When they feel like something around them isn’t according to their will, give them some me-time to introspect whether their extreme emotion is worth their time.
Expressing how the children are actually feeling, through communication, is another great way of handling emotional meltdowns. If they ever just cry inconsolably, talk it out to them and say, ‘I’m here for you and I’ll wait until you feel like discussing what’s making you so upset’ or ‘You can always trust me and vent out in front of me and tell me what you’re feeling.’ Once that vent out happens, asking them to take deep breaths would prove to be very beneficial.
We often plan and save financially for our children’s future, but what about their problems? We should also take notice of their emotional outbursts and plan how to make them confront those unpleasant situations.
If they feel like crying out loud, or shout, or hitting someone, we must give them alternatives to try and avoid those outbursts. So if they ever feel like this, they can be asked to work on something they love the most, like listening to music or painting or dancing. This will distract and calm their outbursts.
Lastly, but most importantly, if parents throw in some massive flare-ups , children are bound to follow suit. All the preaching would take a side road, leaving us no choice but to face the outcome of our wrong-doings.
So, remember to choose, challenge and channelize those robust emotions by choosing how to act, challenging your inner self to ignore and channelizing how to eventually cope.