My fingers moved slowly across the Mac keyboard as though they were moving through thick mud: “how to help my child with depression and anger”.
The single hardest Google Search in my parenting life.
At the time my son, barely 5-years-old, still struggled day after day with meltdowns.
“It's not working.” My husband's voice shook as he confronted me.
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I shifted my head left to right and back again as if in slow motion. I felt my brow tense. My eyes stung with tears.
“I know,” I could barely whisper between my lips, the tone revealing the absolute defeat I felt at that moment.
I took a deep breath. We have to keep trying, I reassured myself.
Parenting an angry child is tough work. Dwelling on why your child is so angry is not worth the time and energy. Get educated and prepare your mindset. Parenting any child involves a dance of positive & effective communication with positive & effective discipline.
How to Discipline the Most Challenging Child
After years of trying various approaches to communicating with our son and parent coaching, the moment described in the first part of this post was our reality. The heartache weighed on us and we felt discouraged and out of options.
Every day we remind ourselves of this truth:
the biggest challenges for our son are his greatest gifts
Our job as his parents is not to shut him down but to guide him to using these qualities in a positive and powerful way.
Social & Emotional Learning for Kids
As many of you know, as a blogger, I receive many opportunities to promote products and programs. I typically turn them down. Most don't fit with my mission. Most, but not all.
Related Post: What to Say to An Anxious Child
When Dr. Becky Bailey & Conscious Discipline approached me with the Home Edition: Feeling Buddies for Families Self-Regulation Toolkit. I reviewed the social-emotional learning materials and decided to go for it. We were still struggling with our son. I am not knocking other approaches that we've encountered over the years. We've certainly taken an a la carte approach to what works and what does not work with our son, but I felt there had to be a solution that spoke to him.
The day I received the materials, my son ran to the door to receive the materials. We opened the Feeling Buddies box together.
The next moments astounded me.
I explained why I received the materials and the purpose of the materials. He got it.
Then this happened…
I quickly thumbed through the manual and decided to go with it. I am a Montessori teacher and parent. I follow the child. I observe. What I observed from my son that afternoon astounded me.
This was it. He let me know what he needed from me.
Why the Feeling Buddies Approach Works for Families
- Involves concrete, mindful activities by the child
- The approach is holistic involving the whole family
- Parents works on self-regulation as much as the child
- Tools applicable to home environment