Mothering article: Helping Kids with Frustration and Rage - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-29-2013, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone seen this new Mothering article about a way to help kids who are having tantrums? I know this is something we've talked about here over and over and over again, and I'm wondering what people think of the advice in this article. I think it's even about a 3.5-year-old. I wonder what percentage of discussions here are about kids that age?

I'm curious about what people think about the article. I loved the way she handled her sons' big feelings.
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#2 of 5 Old 04-30-2013, 05:39 AM
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Not all kids calm down when you touch and hold them, for some they get even more angry. I undertand that we can help kids deal with strong emotions and feelings by validating them, but I would suggest that parents give kids the skills to help them avoid the strong feelings because they can handle the frustration by seeing other possibilties or solving the problem. Expressing strong feelings in an appropriate way is a behavior , it is better to focus on solving the underlying problem giving rise to the strong feelings. Giving kids words deals with the behavior - bot the problem. When we solve problems we need to put aside feelings. When we understand our concerns , needs - we can go forward . Putting a label on a feeling does not take us anywhere 

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#3 of 5 Old 04-30-2013, 02:46 PM
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I disagree.

I found a big help from naming the feeling with my 3,5 well as with adults around me. naming it means you acknowledge it. 

it is magical!

just saying to my 3,5 y.o DS when he screams from frustration: ''you are feeling a lot of frustration'' makes him feel better, calm down, and almost every time, ask forgiveness for ''losing it''. (same with adults around me when I name their feelings for them). he is not asking forgiveness for the feeling, but for the behavior. 

It is really magical.

you don't have to hold them in your arms if that doesn't work for you. 

the important part is the compassion for the kid and empathy. 


there is nothing wrong about strong feelings. they are part of life. If we want to feel strong joy, strong happiness, strong pride etc....we have to accept that we will be also feeling sometimes strong frustration, strong guilt, strong sadness, strong rage.

and that's OK.

that's healthy and human. That's who we are.


my job as a parent is to help my children to grow with their feelings and learn to live with them without hurting themselves and others.


but even if I wanted to prevent strong feelings in my kids...I would never be able to! you can not make or not make someone feel something. 

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#4 of 5 Old 04-30-2013, 05:10 PM
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I think acknowledging emotions is important but if a child is having hundreds of tantrums over things like not getting to take his siblings things and is attempting violent acts that have to be stopped that also needs to be addressed. It is possible to over validate feelings and give a child a sense of entitlement. The picture the author painted is one of a child who ripped paper out of his brother's notebook then tried to attack him when his brother objected and was then rewarded for this by a cuddle while the older brother, the one who had his things ripped and had to flee, stayed around the corner and watched to see when it was safe again. That is not the same thing as creating an environment where children can have big feelings.
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#5 of 5 Old 04-30-2013, 05:47 PM
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I don't tend to see ''cuddle'' as reward. 

Our love to our children doesn't depend on their behavior or the ability to manage their strong feelings.


I don't withdraw or give my attention as a punishment or a reward. I give my attention often ''just because'' but always when a child is in distress because of strong feelings/emotions that overwhelm him. regardless if those emotions result in ''bad behavior''.

example: if my DS' friend is leaving for a long trip, and DS is sad that he won't see him for  along time (he might cry alone silently in a corner of his room), I will take him in my arms to help him and then name his emotions (or try to) and acknowledge them.


If my same DS1 was working on a crafting project for 30 minutes, then his 14 months old brother destroys it, he will have strong feelings of rage and frustration and might have very ''bad'' behavior of throwing things, maybe hitting etc.


well, he really needs my help to deal with his feelings. recognizing them and dealing with them without hurting himself and others.

he ''deserves'' my positive attention for this strong emotion as much as the first one.

they are just strong emotions and he is young and doesn't know how to correctly deal with them.


for the specific incident in the article, I must admit that I didn't really understand who's notebook it was etc. I think it doesn't really matter. what matters, is that one child was feeling very strong overwhelming emotions that made him ''loose control'' and the author chose to be there for him to help him deal with it. Once this very important task is completed, they can discuss the specifics of who,s notebook it was....but it is not necessary, because the child himself asked forgiveness from his brother.


I have two kids. I don't stop everything and have this deep talk for every arguing. I do it only when the emotion are so strong and it is evident that one of my son's need my help dealing with them....regardless of the behavior it caused. 

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