Managing emotional storms in your child Part 4

Rainy days in half term –  working out what is wrong

Oh no! After a fantastic sunny weekend it is raining again. You probably want to get on with some things at home.  is your child whining or arguing with a sibling?  Children always act out rather than work it out.  It is our job as adults to try to make sense of the behaviour.  It is very helpful in doing this to think of children’s problem behaviour as a communication and ask yourself, “What question is my child asking me by being so difficult today?”

Woman under umberella
Rainy Day
photo credit: @Doug88888

Describe appropriate behaviour

Here rather it can work better to ignore the child’s negative remark towards you and focus on describing positively  the behaviour that  you want

Child: You’re mean, making me clean up my toys.
Parent: “Thank you for picking up your toys

Is it Boredom?

Does the child need help and encouragement to manage their time? Motivation has four  stages – thinking about the activity, starting it,  really engaging in it and getting satisfaction from doing it.

Does your child have difficulties with their own motivation. Do you need to help them to think and become engaged in ideas for themselves? Your enthusiasm will transmit to the child and help you both find a way out of being bored or snappy.

Are they feeling insecure?

Has it been a difficult time in the family for example have they been away and come back to you, have you been stressed or busy? Are they asking you for a bit of one to one happy time together? Are they envious of a sibling? If so again it can help to give them just a few minutes of undivided attention and help them to feel loved and settle them into an activity.

Or is there a wider problem?

Are they taking their feelings out on someone else you or a sibling by being deliberately mean or deliberately awkward refusing to do things that have to be done every day?  If so some attention is needed to find out what the underlying problem might be.

Is the child worrying about school or friendships and yet cannot tell you? Do they need your help to talk about this and plan some action that might help them? Rather than react and get into conflict with the child it can really help to work this out and try to find the question they might be asking you in this behaviour.

At Brighton therapy Service we offer advice to parents to help children to respond positively to boundaries and manage to avoid stress and arguments in holiday times.  Particularly on Rainy days!

Get in Touch

This was written by Rose and you can contact her here.

This is Part 4 of a series: