On Parenting: Meghan Leahy took your questions about parenting

Ugh, this is rough.

Unless he has sensory issues we don’t know of, I think he will get move through this with a balance of patience, compassion, and boundaries.

Firstly, we gotta figure out what is triggering him. Or there a way we could prevent some of these outbursts? Certainly, you are not going to stop everything (that is literally impossible), but if you make a list of what is CAUSING these, can you sidestep it? Is there something else you could say? In a different tone? Not say it? Or is it hunger? Fatigue? Put on your detective hat! Figuring out what is causing this will help you so much more than any other strategy.

For when you cannot prevent it, stay quiet. I would practice just counting your breaths while he screams (since comforting and speaking to him don’t work, he cannot hear you).

If your blood begins to boil and you are at home, I would say loudly, “Oh I think I left the faucet on, I will be right back!” Smile, nod, and exit. I know it sounds bizarre, but this accomplishes a couple of things. #1, you get out of situation so that you don’t explode. #2 you are not feeding the behavior with your attention and eye contact. He may follow you, he may just keep screaming. If he follows you, just sit on the floor (keep some ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones handy) and wait. Your son may even want to cover his ears, go ahead! Anything to break him out of this cycle.

Remember: he is not trying to be a bad boy. He is young, his emotions are ALL big, and this will pass.

If it worsens, please talk to your doctor.

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