You are in the grocery store and your child asks for something. You feel the anxiety creep up in your body. You begin to weigh your options in your head. “If I agree, he won’t act out. If I don’t, I have to deal with a huge tantrum and may have to leave the store. I really need groceries. I have to get this done now. But I don’t want to teach him he gets a toy every time we shop.” As your anxiety increases you make a decision and decide to use the word he hates the most. And so begins having a tantrum because you used the word “No.” The emotions you begin to feel in the store are a mixture of anger, frustration, shame, guilt, embarrassment, and overall yuck as you look around wondering if anyone else has to go through these extremes. You run through the list of your friends and family and wonder what they are doing differently that their kids are so easy going? You wonder if you are the problem or maybe feel angry at your child for being so strong willed.
Welcome to parenting a child with intense emotions. The truth is you are not alone. But a lot of parenting techniques out there may not work for you or your child. You have been blessed with a child who is so deeply in tune with his or her emotions that wonderful gifts lie under there. Think about all of the beautiful things that are born out of intense emotions. Have you ever met someone who is so passionate about what they do for a living that they make you excited about it? That passion is a drive. Some of the most beautiful music, art, and inventions were created by individuals with intense emotions. Where you are stuck is learning how to help your child channel these emotions into something that is wonderful instead of painful. It is important that you be able to manage your own triggered emotions so that you parent from patience and calmness rather than anxiety and shame.
Tiffany Smith Counseling, Inc. is offering a Parent and Child Group Therapy Program for Children Grades K-5 to address these issues exactly. The parents will be placed in a group together and learn techniques to help their kiddos be able to succeed instead of meltdown. The children will be placed in a group together learning how to manage their emotions and communicate them with words. This group is to help Parents and Children not feel alone and reinforce that they are all wonderful families. During this program we will cover everything from techniques to handle tantrums, supportive discipline, self-esteem, and child problem solving. This program will meet bi-monthly for 3 months. The Winter session begins December 5th. The cost is $40 per session per family. Please contact us for more information at www.heartyourfamily.com.