When my son was younger, he was a very explosive and volatile child. He’d get upset over every little thing imaginable. Like your kids, his brain was so busy that he didn’t feel like he had control inside. So when things on the outside changed quickly or didn’t go his way, he lost it and it escalated quickly. And my wife and I felt helpless.
And you are caught off guard. What’s happening here, you think? It’s NOT a big deal.
But it is to your child. And he has zero tools to be able to handle these changes in plans. So he does what really bright, tightly wound, strong-willed children do. He reacts, he screams, he freaks out.
And this is what I want you to know.
THIS is your point of decision right here. This is where it all unravels and the rest of the night is ruined OR where you hold it together. You know what’s coming. The torrent of negative words, the unleashing of raw emotion. You know what your child is going to do.
The real question now is what are YOU going to do? You didn’t cause this and you cannot always prevent it. And you can’t make everything better–it’s not your job to make him okay or happy. That’s too much pressure. It’s not your job to soothe every feeling or turn this into a wonderful experience.
But here is what this comes down to. This little human being–or this tall teenager who is towering over you–is out of control. And he’s looking at you, wondering, “Are YOU in control? Can you help me?”
And that’s why I want you to know what to do. I want you to communicate, “Your world is out of control. Mine’s not. I’ve seen this before and I can handle it.”
Because THAT is the most settling thing you can do for your child.
When you are in control, you can see clearly and give your child insight: “You’re not just being a disrespectful little snot who makes my life difficult (yes, that’s what we are honestly thinking!). You’re just overwhelmed, anxious, or frustrated. Well, you’ve come to the right place–your mother, your father–because I know exactly how to help you right now. And it’s going to be okay.”
THAT IS WHAT I WANT FOR YOU. AND YOUR CHILD. Can you, will you do that this afternoon when your child begins yelling for seemingly no reason? You know, that same child who held it together at school, but melts down at home?
For years, we felt helpless. Like bad parents. Like there was something wrong with our son. Then we invited 1,500 of these kids into our home and learned exactly how to calm an upset child. Whew.
I want you to make these changes “stick” long term. I want your kids to grow up with parents who know how to give them tools and help them.
That’s why we put all of these concrete strategies into something called THE BAG. It has everything you need–nine hours of practical, how-to advice, with the exact words and action steps to get your kids to listen the first time and be responsible for themselves. And it costs less than a couple trips to the therapist’s office.