5 Mantras For Kid Meltdowns
My kids have BIG meltdowns. Most kids do, but mine are a little extra. On top of that
I am an empath, so their distressing emotions affect me deeply. When they are melting down, I can feel my own meltdown coming on, and quickly.
He are some of the mantras I have been using lately to get through my kids big feelings.
Take the long view.
I remind myself that Breccan and Olin won't need me to put their shoes on when they are 15. Frankly they won't even need me to put in their shoes at 8. If Breccan is upset because he's having trouble focusing, and a simple redirect or joke doesn't snap him out of it, he isn't just trying to get out of the work. He really needs my help. Same goes for Olin at night or when he is upset I did something in the wrong way (threenagers, amirite).
This mantra is kind of a extension of "This Too Shall Pass", but more applicable to long standing behaviors instead of short term moments. However, if your kids have special needs, your mileage on this one may vary.
2. They are acting out because they are hurting.
Hard behaviors come from hard emotions. Kids don't have the filter for intensity or action that we do. If something might make us a little angry, chances are it makes our kids furious.Also, kids lack the ability to manipulate vindictively. Sure, they manipulate, but they aren't doing it with the same motivation that a grown person could have.If we remind ourselves that their big emotions come from pain/discomfort and they act from Emotion Mind not Reason Mind, we can keep calm easier.
3. Just Repeat
One of the biggest lessons I've learned (thanks to the Confident Parents Thriving Kids program) is how to not get sucked into an argument. So often we are told to validate feelings (which is right, we should), but for me, it's a slippery slope to getting into an argument. I tell myself "Just repeat it, word for word", and instantly I feel calm because I don't have to try to win a debate.
4. I will share my calm.
This mantra, while a little on the hippie side, helps me calm down very quickly. I focus on literally moving my calm energy to my kids. I don't know if they feel it, but when I focus on that spiritual/metaphysical idea, I really calm down.
5. Don't make decisions in the red zone.
Just like avoiding a debate through repetition helps keep me calm, reminding myself not to search frantically for a stop to the kids' unpleasant emotions is crucial. Their discomfort is big, and it puts me into emotional distress. So I remind myself to focus instead on slowing down and processing the big emotions rather than trying to shut them down right away.
But kids need calm. It's not fair to them to have me have my own grown up temper tantrum. This is where mindfulness and mantras really kicks in. Mindfulness helps you not get overwhelmed by your own emotions. Mantras are a way of mindfully redirecting your thoughts to help you behave effectively.