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Childlife.ca e-news#37: Temper Taming, Part 2

Mary Stuart, Director, ChildLife.ca
One thousand days to learn; ten thousand days to refine. — Japanese Proverb

TEMPER: the tendency of someone to become angry; a state of being angry

TAME: to bring under control

Remember to Breathe!!

As we spoke about last time, self-regulation is a life skill. It is the ability to identify, control, adapt, alter, and manage our behaviours.

It is an attention-training method that teaches the brain to register anything happening in the present moment with full focus — without reacting.

In other words, “Everything is neutral. It is our response that makes all the difference. “

Strong emotions can be very “scary” to a young child: the sense of being out of control, the sensation of the heart rate going up, the blood flow increase, the energy coursing around.

It can result in screaming, crying = tantrum-ing. Realizing how complex and important it is to support children’s self regulation skills is the key to temper taming!

The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example. — Thomas Morell

Temper Taming Tips

  1. THEY ARE STILL LEARNING
    • Viewing a child’s emotional outburst (tantrums) as a skill a child is still learning will help shape our guidance strategies to ones that are more effective and have long term benefits.
  2. CONNECT EMOTIONS TO BEHAVIOUR
    • “Wow, you are so frustrated that you can’t put that puzzle together. Let’s take a deep breath and try again.”
    • Validating, reflecting and putting a label to a child’s feelings helps build the necessary feelings vocabulary and teaches how to get back to calm.
  3. MODEL, TEACH, COACH, SUPPORT
    • Just by intentionally talking about a variety of emotions we experience on a daily basis and consciously modelling how we get our strong emotions under control (back to calm) is a very powerful teaching tool.
  4. TAKE DEEP BREATHS and encourage your child to do the same.
    • Oxygen in the brain helps you think so you can respond versus react.
    • Breathe in: Let’s smell the flowers. Breathe out: Let’s blow up the balloons…

One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade. — Chinese proverb

B.E.S.T. Behaviour & Temper Tamer/Self Regulation Workshops are available on-site at your centre!

We provide customized training on this topic and other child behaviour and development topics. Justask@childlife.ca and we’ll send you our latest training flyer.

We shall never know all the good a simple smile can do. —Mother Teresa

Happy Days with Kids!

Mary