Why YOU Feel Upset During A Toddler Tantrum (And What To Do About It)

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and Author, shares advice for parents on how to best control yourself when your toddler tantrums and you feel out of control
Tips For Controlling Yourself During Toddler Tantrums
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Why YOU Feel Upset During A Toddler Tantrum (And What To Do About It)

Comment
238
Like
238
Transcription: 
When our children are upset, freaking out, throwing a fit, having a tantrum, we often start feeling really freaking out, tantrumy ourselves. And one of the reasons for this is there’s something called mirror neurons. These are basically cells in our brain that allow us to experience a little bit of the people’s experiences around us. It allows us to kind of read other people and experience joy and sadness with others. So they are a good thing. But in these types of moments, we actually – our internal state and our emotions ¬– mirror to some degree what our child is experiencing. So when our child is feeling out of control and full of rage, we start feeling that as well, because our nervous systems are captive and connected to one another. So one of the ways that we can actually use this to our benefit is to… if they’re up here in terms of anger, we can sort of come right here. If we’re just still totally peaceful and calm way down here, it’s not going to work – it’s going to be a mismatch. But if we come right below them and say, “Oh, you’re so mad I’m feeling kind of frustrated too,” but a little bit lower than they, they can start coming down and we can start working together to calm down. And of course don’t forget the importance of taking big, deep breaths. That helps us calm down so we can get our child calmer as well.

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and Author, shares advice for parents on how to best control yourself when your toddler tantrums and you feel out of control

Transcript

Expert Bio

More from Expert

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD

Psychotherapist & Author

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, is a psychotherapist at Pediatric and Adolescent Psychology Associates in Arcadia, California, where she sees children and adolescents, as well as provides parenting consultations. She is the school counselor at St. Marks Episcopal School in Altadena, CA, and a Developmental Consultant to Camp Chippewa for Boys. She speaks to parents, educators, and clinicians all across the country. Dr. Bryson earned her PhD from the University of Southern California, where her research explored attachment science, childrearing theory, and the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology. Her best-selling book The Whole-Brain Child (co-authored with Dr. Dan Siegel) gives parents practical ways to transform difficult moments into opportunities for children to thrive.  Dr. Bryson has written for a large number of publications, most recently the PBS series “This Emotional Life.”  She lives near Los Angeles with her husband and three children.  

More Parenting Videos from Tina Payne Bryson, PhD >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter