Dealing with the “meltdown”…success story from a proud poppa

I have a two year old…

For those parents out there, you already get me!

But we are definitely dealing with tantrums, melt downs, and big emotions.

And I can be honest with you right now and say that how I have dealt with those instances has been less than optimal…

But yesterday was different, and the skills I used are transferable and applicable even if you’re not a parent!

For the last 5 months or so, I’ve had numerous reps of trying to diffuse my son’s tantrums.

And after reflecting on my journal entries…

I realized I was less than proud of how I responded to his behavior…

So much so, that I reached out for coaching and help.

I read a few books, I sought out a professional, and enrolled in parenting classes.

And yesterday, I successfully implemented several of the tactics…

And I can report that I have never felt more proud of myself, and my journal entry took a 180 degree turn!

I realize probably most of the folks reading this may not be parents…

But I’m sharing this anecdote because I’m fascinated by organizational culture and believe the tactics I successfully implemented for a toddler can be implemented for adults just as effectively.

Once you the tantrum began…

I immediately took key actions that I could control:

1- I mentally prepared: I knew that what I was working on had to go on pause to give my full attention to the situation.

2- I focused on breathing: I needed to remain calm and in control so some deep nasal breathing to regulate my physiology prepared me for my work ahead.

3- I implemented empathy: I let my son know I was sorry we had to implement consequences and was sincere, not condescending.

4- Focused on action, not words: In the heat of the moment, a 2 year old isn’t listening to a lecture, let alone understand it. So instead, I removed him from the location and object of the meltdown and implemented a consequence of spending quiet time with me in his room.

5- Communicated next steps: I let my son know as soon as he was calm and ready to return, we could go back together to the scene of the crime, and I would wait quietly until that time.

6- End on a positive: As soon as he stopped crying and yelling, I extended the “olive branch”. I said, I’d love to give you a hug and go back to our activity. I made myself vulnerable and put my pride aside.

Net result: he laughed, we hugged, we went back as if nothing happened, and I was proud of myself.

So next time you argue with your partner or someone at work, are their principles here you can use to keep your goals on track?

I know I feel like I have skills that can be used in other disciplines and I look forward to getting in more successful reps.

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