Taming the Tiger inside……

I’m a fairly mild mannered girl. It takes quite a bit to rile me up and get me excited, agitated or angry. I’m certainly not saying I can’t get there. I just run at a slower boiling point than some. However,  I think that some of my favorite people and kiddos are those that boil quickly and intensely. I’m not sure what it is about them. Maybe I long for their zest and intensity for both hot and cold/high and low. I love being around them and love working with them.

As parents, it’s important to recognize what your own boiling point is before you can help lower your child’s. Children watch us control ourselves in order to determine how to control themselves. I tell parents that if they can first recognize and conquer their own intense temperaments -or lower their own boiling point first – then they will be better equipped to help their child lower his/her boiling point.

Do you get physically hot when you are angry? Does the red creep up your neck? Do you talk faster, high pitched or louder? Think about what happens to you as you begin to boil. Then try a few of the following steps – these steps are exactly what you would show/teach your child as well.

  1. Deep breathe
  2. Relax your neck, shoulders and jaw (on purpose!)
  3. Turn away from what it is that is frustrating you – or close your eyes for a moment so you can’t see it.
  4. Swallow or suck (This is a natural movement that has been around since you were born. Get a drink of water, suck on a candy or pop in some gum!)
  5. Sway (Yes really! Again a natural movement that was there when you were born. We all sway when see a baby rocking, try it! You may find it soothing!)

What other signs show you that your child is about to boil over?

What things do you do to try to lower that boiling point?

Lori Korthals, M.S.

Mother of three. Lover of all things child development related. Fascinated by temperament and brain development. Professional background with families, child care providers, teachers and community service entities.

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3 thoughts on “Taming the Tiger inside……

  1. awesome post! yes, as adults we need to take time to relax and care for ourselves so we can best care for others..such as our children! its so easy to just react…thanks for the reminders:)

  2. I’ve been trying to curb my need to yell. Every time I feel the need to raise my voice I take a deep breath and speak softer. I even had a conversation with my kids about what makes me yell today. They knew why, so I turned it around and asked them how they feel when they are ignored or disrespected. Likely answers of feeling sad or bad. When I asked them if they like to treat others that way, they said no and finally seemed to understand that “I” am another person. LOL Funny how they don’t see me as a person just a mom. For today, there is understanding, with the 8 & 9 year old at least. Not so much the 5 year old. We’ll see how many times I need to repeat that lesson in the next 40 days.

  3. I think the coolest thing is that your kiddos saw you communicate your frustrations in a calm cool and collected way! Way to go!

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