Quarantine and children: How to survive your child's tantrums
It is not easy to stay calm when a little one rolls on the floor. But some mindfulness techniques can help us stay calm and react effectively so that the crisis dissipates as quickly as possible, even more so in times of quarantine due to the pandemic.
If you are the parent of a young child, you know it's almost impossible to avoid tantrums. Meals, bedtime, or going out in public can be a nightmare. These seizures are not just an expression of children's excitement, but an interaction with the caregivers, says Greater Good Magazine.
The good news is that how you react to angry child behavior is vitally important and influences the length and severity of the crisis. The longer you can stay calm, the faster and more painless the anger will pass. It's easier said than done, and it takes a lot of patience and practice, but situations will get easier over time.
Pause for three seconds
Take literally three seconds before reacting when your child has a whim. Take a deep breath and ask yourself how you feel. Are you hungry ? Thirst? Back pain? Are you stressed from work? These external factors can influence your interactions with your child. Try to imagine your reaction if you were in top shape and focus on your sensory experiences. This awareness can help you stay calm.
Anchor your feet
Mindfulness exercise can help, even when the child is hysterical. When you feel your blood pressure rise and think you are about to break it, focus on your feet. Feel your plants sink into the ground. See how the earth stops you. Wiggle your toes in your shoes. Observe the sensations in the muscles and tendons. Then refocus your attention on your child.
Our instinct is to rush to distract, reassure, or fix things, and make sure everything goes smoothly. But sometimes what will comfort the child and parent is simply being there, sitting back and listening to the other person's distress without trying to quickly end it.
If relaxing words are not enough to calm your child, try to respond physically. This can mean placing a hand on his shoulder, rubbing his back while kicking and screaming on the floor, or wrapping him in a hug. Of course, watch your cues to make sure it's something you need, because sometimes when emotions are intense, touch can seem intrusive. But most of the time, being caring can help you regulate your emotions and calm you down.
Many parents believe that children can remain calm in the face of frustration before the age of two, when in reality this ability does not begin to develop until three and a half years of age. And it takes several years to fully master it. Facing this reality and accepting it helps us understand that the child is not intentionally acting that way.