Strong Emotions and Meltdowns

Are you having a hard minute?

I choose to say this instead of are you having a hard day, week or year. It's a personal preference that I just realized I did one day. It's okay to feel sad, mad, angry, scared... but feeling mad for 10 minutes in the morning doesn't need to ruin the whole day. So instead of saying are you having a hard day, I say are you having a hard minute? 

PS I have hard minutes all the time too, but I don't want my emotions in one part of my day to impact the rest of my day or week. It's empowering instead of throwing myself a pity party.

When you feel triggered

But how hard is it when we feel triggered?! What do you do to stay calm??


- Take a LOOOOONG deep breath.

- Smile, force it til it feels real

- Be warm & comforting

- Connect… even if you don’t understand why they are upset, acknowledge that they are and say it, “you seem sad“

- Be present (phones away, eyes up)

- Hug them

- Walk away

- Expect the meltdowns, prepare for them, and accept the emotions that pour from your children

- Talk with a life coach, emotional healer or therapist to reduce stresses and get through tough emotions/experiences

👏🏼If you need help knowing how to effectively support your child through tantrums, meltdowns & whining, check out my tantrum course. 👏🏼

Teaching Your Child to stay Calm

Now teach that you have figured out how you can stay calm… how can we teach this to our children. We need to take the time to help them learn the skills. If it’s difficult for you, it’ll be even more difficult for them because their brain is not fully developed! So make a little chart, talk about ways to breathe… things they can do when they are upset.

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Lauren PaceComment
Pestering the Dogs, what's the missing skill there?

When Charlie was torturing the dogs for fun -- it was getting a little bit rough. Me constantly getting after him. The dogs constantly running/hiding. And him LOVING every second. 

Why? Why was he doing this behavior? Because he enjoys torturing animals??? NO. Because he likes to hurt dogs? No. It's because he was CURIOUS, and their reaction was new, different and exciting. 

So, no matter how many times I said no. Or put the dogs outside. Or moved him to a different room, the next time he had the opportunity, he took it.

What did he need support with -- to get the same function met without being inappropriate with the dogs?.

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Sibling Rivalry

So, I changed my response. Instead of being the referee. I was the coach. I went in thinking — they both think they are right, how can we problem solve. Instead of deciding who was right or wrong. 

I know they are young but they get along soooo well. He looks out for her & helps her. Sibling rivalry is real & being the coach instead of the referee is just one thing I talk about in my course on it. 

Wouldn’t you love to be a problem solving family instead of a rattle telling family?

Check out this online course on my website.

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Function: Hungry, Solution: PREVENT

Some kids wake up HAPPY (Maelie) and some kids struggle to wake up (Charlie). I KNOW this about Charlie... mornings are hard. If we have to go somewhere he can't be rushed. He really needs time to eat, get dressed and go through those transitions. Okay, so I learned this about my son. 

Do I "keep on keeping on" and "survive" this stage, it will pass? Or do I adjust things in his environment to make it more successful for him?! ding ding ding. We have a winner. 

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Family Dates Look Different: Xbox or Kayaking

Time with dad. When I was growing up, time with dad looked different. He had a home office & so we saw him all throughout the day. When we had kids I extended bed time so they would see their dad who worked long hours. And realized that time with dad was going to be different. It honestly was hard for me. I almost cried when a sleep trainer told me that I needed to put my kid to bed at 7 😭😭 I’m like they won’t know their dad.

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Marriage/Family Therapist Applying Xo Parenting Strategies

Sometimes it’s hard to get on the same parenting page. We all have different triggers, backgrounds and were raised by totally different parents. Because we come in with our own views of behavior and how we will discipline our kids… and because have our own temperaments in the mix… we aren’t always on the same page with positive parenting.

This is why I LOVE when couples come to my workshops or take my classes together.

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Picky Eaters and Food Throwers

Babies and toddlers throwing food off their high chair. I get this question a lot. What do I do?? First, THIS IS TOTALLY NORMAL. Second, yes it might be a game for your reaction, yes it might be because their done… it also could just be them being really up high and seeing what happens when their food hits the ground, wall or dogs.

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Spirited Children aka Fireworks

Being different isn't always a bad thing. In fact in this ever-changing evil world... we NEED strong-willed children that will stand up for their values.

Yet when they're the kid running up on the stand at church... or wearing PJ's to school because they refuse every other outfit... this strong-willed characteristic is frustrating.

We can offer independence, responsibilities, choices within the boundaries to foster this autonomy without losing all authority.

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Xo Playtime: Construction

"Mom, I go help dad. Got mine tools"

Every two-ish weeks we rotate toys. #xoplaytime

This means that I switch out baskets of a few doctors supplies -- to baskets of a few tools. I always have some sort of block. And the art center is always there. But, it doesn't take much to change the entire tone of the playroom. All of a sudden he's going from wrapping his babies in leftover gauze, to going out to the shop and hammering stuff with dad. You don't even really need to invest in tools just start saving the hex screws and wrenches from the ikea/amazon furniture.

Having different materials invites Charlie to change the focus of his play and explore pretending in a new way. Gosh, play is fun and I love being his mom.

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