Dad's can gentle parent too!
Kids need our help to handle their big feelings and move that energy into something that can help them to regulate.
If in doubt, stay silent and regulate yourself first!
I just observed a really cool example of being respectful and holding your boundaries.
August was literally wielding a trike over Etta’s head, angry and annoyed at her because she wanted the trike too.
Instead of shouting at August or making him feel guilty for what he was doing, which he knew was wrong or making him feel any shame.. Jon just said “I’m going to help you to put this on the floor because I think Etta was playing with it” and removed his body from it.
Cue August tantrum – kind of throwing his body round and roaring like a dinosaur. And Jon just said “ It looks like you’ve got really big energy. Do you want to play outside?”
We’ve talked before with August about outside big movements being really calming for his body. Then he straight away said “Yes, I can kick the ball and you can try and take it from me.”
Anger – gone.
Tantrum – gone.
It was like someone has helped me through these big feelings, given me some structure, given me something to do that I know will calm myself. It’s exciting and way better than wielding a trike above someone’s head.
I’m calm and I’m off and now they’re playing football together in the garden.
There was a need that wasn’t being met. Jon had just got home and he was talking to me. August wanted his attention. August needed some direction. He didn’t know what he wanted to do or what to play with. Etta has got a new trike and he wanted it.
So there’s an example. You can be calm, you can be kind, respectful and reduce your shouting with just a change of perspective.
Watch the full reel here