Tips for staying calm when your child is acting out

Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT Adoption and Family Therapist, shares expert advice for parents on three great ways to remain calm when you're child is acting out
Tips For Staying Calm When Your Child Is Acting Out
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Tips for staying calm when your child is acting out

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Parenting is hard. A parent will lose patience with their child, especially, when they act out. There is a three pronged protocol that I use that's from "Beyond Consequences," it's called reflect, relate, and regulate. Reflect is, first and foremost, reflect on your experience and ask yourself, "What am I feeling right now?" Connect with that part of your body. If the feeling is in your stomach, take three to eight deep breaths. The key is to reflect on your own experience in order to connect with your child's. The next step is relate. Relate to your child. See that they are having an emotional process as well. Let them know that you hear them, you see them and you are receiving them. I get you. I see how angry you are. I hear how angry you are. I get it. The third piece is regulate. Regulate your own nervous system. If that means, as a parent, you need take a timeout. You take a timeout. Go and do something that will help you calm yourself down, so that you can come back and create a safe environment and connect with your child. A regulating tool is to go and put water on your face, go a listen to music for five minutes. With these children, if you are going to take a timeout, let them know where you are going and what part of the house and how many minutes you will be gone; so they will not feel psychologically abandoned.

Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT Adoption and Family Therapist, shares expert advice for parents on three great ways to remain calm when you're child is acting out

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Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT

Adoption & Family Therapist

Jeanette Yoffe earned her master's degree in Clinical Psychology, specializing in children, from Antioch University. She treats children with serious psychological problems secondary to histories of abuse, neglect, and or multiple placements. Jeanette's desire to become a child therapist with a special focus on adopted and foster care issues derived from her own experience of being adopted and moving through the foster care system. She runs a monthly support group called Adopt Salon for all members of the adoption triad in Los Angeles.

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