I hear this saying from children all the time, and it really sounds great! Every time a child says this to me, I am hopeful the child I am working with can understand this concept, and put it into practice. However, that is rarely the case. In theory, this saying makes sense. However, theory and catchy sayings do not pan out as you tell your child "no" and they start melting down!
Why is this so?
This saying is meant for top brain thinking, thinking that comes from the neocortex. This part of our children's brain is not fully developed and goes offline when they begin to meltdown. Our children's meltdown comes from either the limbic system, seeking connection, or the reptilian brain, seeking safety. This means that if you attempt to teach your child a lesson in this moment, you and your child will be frustrated !
So what can you do when your child is throwing a fit?
Daniel Seigel, author of The Whole Brain Child*, says you, as a parent, have to figure out what brain your child is thinking from!
Make sure they are well fed, well rested, and feeling physically and emotionally safe. This will help calm the lower parts of the brain.
Help your child feel connected with you. Reflect your child's feelings. Let them know you hear them, and are here for them. This calms the limbic system in the middle part of the brain.
If needed, set limits. This helps with safety. Your child needs boundaries to feel safe!
You may need to wait to set consequences until your child can think more clearly. Remember, they are not in the thinking part of their brain.
To help, we offer a whole page dedicated to parenting resources and parent groups!
If you are needing further assistance, we have included a "Parent Help" emergency button for you.
We also have created a quick reference handout for you!
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