Setting Healthy Boundaries…
An article by our Well-being Ambassador Giuliana Wheater
We all get those days, don’t we , when as parents we are only human and meltdowns, overwhelm and outbursts of screaming and shouting really get to us . It pulls our hearts to pieces seeing our child communicating such frustration, anger or hurt.
We are always feeling that we could have done something to prevent it , could be doing more or better , and occasionally just hitting that meltdown ourselves .
All behaviour is communication but it can nevertheless be very hard to be that ship’s mast in a tsunami of emotion.
When you feel yourself become simply overwhelmed by it all , feeling like you need the space away from it too because you feel like crying, screaming and telling yourself , please know that all these feelings are normal .
Do not beat yourself up over it.
We all need to take a step back and breathe sometimes.
So what sort of things can we say when our child has just exploded and you all need that step away ?
Here are a few ideas that I’ve tried and have been really effective at times , both as a mother and also within schools or my private sessions.
- It’s ok to be upset but not to say hurtful things.
- It sounds like you need a bit of space. I am going to wait to listen to you when you’ve finished yelling.
- Could you please lower your voice/tone so that I can understand you ?
- Could you try to say it in a different way please?
- I hear and understand that you’re upset right now but it’s not ok for you to talk to me like this .
- Let’s take a break from our conversation for now and come back to it when you’re calmer.
In the meantime here are some strategies that your child might like to do during the “cooling off” to help them process these big emotions in a healthier way whilst still acknowledging them .
And to try to regulate those big emotions BEFORE they build up to meltdown, here is a small fun daily workout which will also get they all important serotonin and dopamine going!!
I really hope this goes some way to helping the whole family.
Take care everyone and see you next week.
Lots of love, Giuliana