We have all been in the situation where our nerves are frayed and walking away seems to be the best option only to be followed by a determined and very loud child who has their mind set and locked. Escape seems futile. And it is. When it comes to a battle of wills, you will lose every time. The best and most effective strategy is to be calm, positive and supportive. No easy task, but once you see the results it will get easier each time. Have some catch phrases, some "go to" lines that will make it easier to distance yourself from the meltdown:
- "I can hear how upset you are, I'm here when you want to tell me what's wrong."
- "I care about what is making you this mad, I want to listen, maybe I can help."
Try to remind yourself that this behavior is the result of neurological damage. That is not an excuse for poor behavior but it is an explanation and until better coping skills are learned, it is all they know how to do. The answer is to teach during calm moments and be a supportive coach during times of chaos and high agitation. Meeting anger with kindness will get you much farther than meeting anger with resentment and frustration. Think of the difference between putting a cool cloth on a burn or boiling water. What will bring the best results? Remember that your child is looking to you to see how to cope, how to relate to and treat others and how to love. You have a big job but it is worth every minute of the good and the not so good.
Manager of PWS Services
What About the Rest of the Family
Reasons Behind the Behavior