Mastering The Meltdowns For Donegal Mammy
Donegal Mammy is delighted to welcome Deirdre Ward as a guest blogger this week.
After teaching in Ireland for over 7 years and Abu Dhabi for 18 months Deirdre noticed how children, no matter in what country they are in, need more ways of developing emotional and coping skills. Having experienced the language barrier in the UAE and finding new ways to communicate through Play she knew Play Therapy was the route she wanted to explore and bring to all families.
She helps parents whose child may be anxious, unpredictable and possibly temperamental. Through her work Deirdre promotes emotional well-being through her newly developed Well-Being Programme .
Mastering the Meltdowns – with Deirdre Ward
Do you feel unsupported, isolated, worried and exhausted because of your child’s anxiety, unpredictable behaviours and deteriorating Mental Health?
Are you desperate for help, understanding and solutions? Are you sick of waiting? I offer a service that is here to help you, you receive immediate support, honesty and guidance without judgement.
I help your child to express all emotions so that they are fully understood, develop coping skills to minimize meltdowns and tantrums and to communicate more effectively their likes/dislikes therefore increasing confidence and self-belief within.
As a result, your whole family life is happier and more peaceful.
Here are my 5 Top Tips for Parents to help Children Unlock their Emotions, to Release Frustrations, to help children Calm Down and as a result have a more Peaceful & Playful Home!
When a child is upset or in distress their body is tense, bubbling with frustration/anger/sadness and they need help to come back to a balanced state. This can be VERY difficult for children and they need to learn coping skills and ways to self-regulate. As a baby they looked to their mother/father/caregiver for this soothing e.g. by rocking, feeding, singing etc. As a child grows up they need to learn the mechanisms for soothing themselves. UNLOCK helps with this as it uses an array of Sensory Materials to help a child regain a balanced state. It is useful to have some different textures on hand to help a child calm down/relax. I’m sure you all know the latest craze of Slime! This is a perfect example of why children love to make this concoction. It is sensory based, and it helps a child self-regulate.
Helping your child with their emotions can be tricky. When children and parents are both fired up emotionally it can be very difficult to make sense, to comprehend and to help the situation. Our brains are amazing, but they also have a ‘mind of their own’! When we are upset, suffer trauma, are in distress our Left Brain that is for logic, reasoning and critical thinking shuts down and doesn’t function. The Right Brain full of emotions, expressions is on overdrive and hence the reason why some children have massive tantrums, outbursts and seem to be in meltdown! They cannot communicate in words or tell you what is wrong. UNLOCK has techniques to provide that will assist parents in connecting with children when in this state!
- ‘Name it to Tame It’ ‘Remember to Remember’:
Children often just need acknowledgement of their feelings and for them to be addressed. E.g. “I see you are very angry”, “You seem sad”. What I have found from my experience of working with children is that they need to be taught these emotions and bodily sensations. How else do they know how they are feeling? By constantly acknowledging emotions and labelling them it helps them to connect their feeling with situations and bodily sensations. Name it and it will Tame it! As stated above while a child is in distress there is no point trying to reason with them and have a logical conversation. After a child has calmed down and a resolution is found it is important to THEN discuss what happened, how they felt and why – Remember the scenario so the child can remember their feelings, the situation and as a result the next time a similar situation arises they will have improved understanding and coping strategies to better deal with it.
- ACT Model:
UNLOCK provides Play Therapy and Garry Landreth is a renowned Play Therapist from the States. He has a simple, yet powerful technique called the ACT model for helping parents with setting limits/boundaries and sticking to them. Children love to test limits, right?! No doubt you have all given in at some point, when feeling exhausted, when juggling other tasks, tending to other siblings. You’re only human! The ACT model is effective, I use it within sessions with children and have seen excellent results. Within the play space children learn the limits and boundaries. This helps them with coping strategies for overcoming the ‘No’, overcoming setbacks and disappointments in life.
- Be Playful:
It is SO important to have a Playful attitude when raising children. We are NEVER too old or too busy to take time out in the day and PLAY! Play is the natural form of communication for children, so it is CRUCIAL. It is important that children see us adults as playful, that we can connect on their level and not expect children to reach up to our level. UNLOCK has many tips and suggestions for games, techniques that parents can use to incorporate playfulness into busy, hectic family life.
I hope these little tips have made you STOP and THINK about connecting a little more with your children, about seeing the importance of identifying emotions for yourselves as parents and your children.
Deirdre can help you connect more effectively with your child, can support your child to express themselves, to release anger/frustration, to boost confidence and as a result to feel happier and healthier.
For more details check out the website at www.unlockirl.ie or contact Deirdre on (087) 7784729.
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