Help! My child gets upset when they don’t get their way. What do I do?
Let’s reframe that.
Even as mature adults we can feel upset or disappointed if we don’t get our way.
Because you are a human.
AND your child is a human.
It’s normal to feel disappointed when we don’t get what we want.
The only difference between you and your kids is that you’ve learned how to regulate your emotions better than they have.
What would happen if you started anticipating your child’s upsets?
You could see the writing on the wall and you started to plan for it instead of hoping it didn’t happen this time.
You know when your eight-year-old asks his fourteen-year-old brother for the fifth time to play Monopoly it isn’t going to end well.
You see the writing on the wall.
What if you made a plan to help your son and help you navigate the imminent upset more easily?
Look at it from this point of view.
Let’s say it was your best friend was the one who was devastated over something.
What would you say to her? Would you tell her to stop overreacting and just get over it? Would you tell her she should go to the other room and come back once she’s stopped crying?
Would you empathize with your friend, sit with her, listen to her (even if it was irrational), try to understand her, and give her the benefit of the doubt?
It’s crazy that we treat our children so differently than we do our friends.
What message do you send your kids when you tell them not to be upset?
That it’s not okay to feel this way. That something is wrong with them. That they are too much.
What would happen if you came with empathy, love, and acceptance when your kids were having a meltdown?
What message would that send to them?
That all feelings are valid, even anger, frustration, and upset. That there is nothing wrong with you. That there isn’t an emotion you should be afraid of. That she can handle any emotion. I’m here for you no matter what.
Let that soak in.
This is one of the things we intentionally create inside Connect Method Parenting.