Your child is escalating quickly and you have a pretty good idea where this is headed. You know the scenario…the anger turns to screaming, which then becomes a full-blown tantrum. Pretty soon your child hits YOU.
In today’s episode Stacy Bellward and Jim Jackson interview Lynne Jackson, OTR as she helps to answer the question: “What should I do when my child is so out of control they hit me?!” She draws on her occupational therapy knowledge to help us understand how brain function impacts this tough dilemma.
The quick answer:
Work to figure out and verbalize what your child’s hands are trying to say. If their mouth could say it, their hands wouldn’t need to. If it continues, try to find the most loving way possible to keep everyone physically safe.
In this podcast we’ll explore this common scenario based on the Connected Families framework:
- FOUNDATION: You are safe with me. What’s going on in you? Are you responding back with anger because you are embarrassed or ashamed? (“What is wrong with this kid?!”) Instead, step away with calming thoughts like: “This is normal.” or “These emotions are too big for my child.”
- CONNECT: You are loved no matter what. Heartfelt, sincere empathy is very powerful. State what your child is feeling and wanting.
- COACH: You are capable… of using your words to solve problems. Help your child with the messy process of gradually learning respectful self-advocacy as you teach emotional awareness outside of conflict times.
- CORRECT: You are responsible for your actions. Help your child choose a way to use their hands to restore the connection in the relationship.
As mentioned in this podcast, the Connected Families framework is also available on a magnet that is available for purchase. Keep it visible anywhere you typically look, for constant reminders and encouragement in your parenting!
To learn more about the topic of your child being too physical when they are angry, order our Discipline That Connects book and take a look at the appendix on aggression. Also, consider registering for our 8-session online course of Discipline That Connects With Your Child’s Heart that we offer twice a year.
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