Well today, there was no play-date. And boy did it get hot fast!
You know that feeling when as a parent you feel so out of control, your child is kicking off and you’ve no idea what to do to calm the whole thing down?
You’ve tried it all and nothing is working, or maybe it does for a short while, only to return with vengeance. Not a fun place to be.
Oh my! My daughter’s meltdown were epic and could last. for. ever…
Anything on the hall table would go flying as she swiped her arm across. She would try and hit and kick anything within arm’s reach.
I wish I’d known then, the magic of Language of Listening®
When you put the three parts of the Language of Listening® together you’ll have a wonderfully simple way to react to any situation. Even if it’s a difficult situation such as when a child hits or throws things.
It always starts with: SAY WHAT YOU SEE (SWYS)the neutral observations of what’s happening right now.
Not what you wish was happening, or you think should be happening. Rather, what is happening.
And from there we offer guidance and support.
If you do like something you see, you offer a STRENGTH to help your child see their greatness and gain self-confidence in their abilities.
If you don’t like something you see, you add a CAN DO. What your child can do within your boundary. This is the step to gain willing cooperation and problem-solving skills.
Pretty simple so far isn’t it?
So back to my daughter and her upset about not having a play-date.
Using Language of Listening® would sound something like this:
SWYS: “You wanted to have your friend around, you like having friends to play with. And no play-date today! You’re so angry. You want to hit!”
CAN DO: “You can hit this pillow.” (or anything you think will work for your child, the key is to focus on what you DO want.)
SWYS: “Look at you! You’re hitting the pillow! Now you’re stomping on the ground. You feel powerful when you stomp like that.”
Once my daughter was regaining her sense of personal power and control, she was able to calm herself down.
STRENGTH: “You calmed down! You found a way to get your frustration out. That took self-control.”
CAN DO: “There must be something you can do?”
This is the part where you will see the solution to the problem. Where you get to find solutions to work within your boundary.
You will see this with your own child. It’s amazing how quickly our children can move on to find solutions to their problems when they get their sense of power back.
There are so many possibilities open to you once you are working together to find solutions that work for both of you.
In my case, the great part is that I managed to point out my daughter’s strength.
She did calm down, even if it took a while, she DID calm down. She did it!
Far better that she has an inner voice of “I know how to calm down, I did it!” An inner voice that she can call on the next time.
Rather than an inner voice of “I can’t do it, I ruin everything. I’m naughty or useless.”
The more I remembered to point out her strengths, the quicker she was able to calm herself down. Not just in that instance but she now had more coping tools for the future.
The wonderful result of this model is that you’ll start to notice that each meltdown episode will last less and less time. And all the while your child is learning to control their own behaviour.
I would love to hear from you and your experiences of the tantrums and acting out decrease with these effective tools from Language of Listening