Friday, August 30, 2013
DEALING WITH CHILD RAGE
So, your child has got to boiling point and is now melting down...
General deescalation parenting moves:
a) Keep your voice down even when your child is screaming. Your yelling will
only make the situation more volatile! When you talk, speak quietly and only
when they stop to draw breath.
b) Do not make angry moves like grabbing at the child. That only makes them
either fearful or more defiant.
c) If possible direct them to a quiet place to calm down. If you are at home walk
away from them until they blow themselves out. A meltdown needs an audience,
so don't supply it.
What if you think your child is going to hurt themselves - or you?
In only the worst situations restraint may be necessary. It is effective, but should only be
used if there are no other options.
To do this...
1. Sit on a chair and place the child on your knee facing away from you. From
behind him/her, reach around to your front and grab his/her left hand with your right
2. Grab his/her right hand with your left hand. You are holding their arms criss-crossed
across their front.
3. Draw his/her arms towards you and hold tight.
4. Keep your head to one side to avoid being head-butted.
5. Watch out for backwards kicks. You need to reposition your legs slightly to one side
6. He/she may try to bite you. If it looks like you may be bitten raise his/her arms a bit
so that all he could bite is himself, and that's unlikely.
7. You must be prepared to sit there until your child has gained composure. This hold
will wear them out and you, too, especially if it goes on for up to one hour.
Not all meltdowns are of the same intensity and may require different treatments. Judge
what is happening and calmly make a choice as to the method you will use from your
bag of tricks.
The best plan is to look for the anxiety levels that trigger a meltdown and act before it manifests.
Following the event, it is imperative to talk with your child about what happened and why.
If you know that you may have inflamed the situation in the first place, then decide how you
will change. Talk to your child about how to better manage their anger so the same situation does not repeat itself.
Written by Sally and Brian Burgess