do’s and don’ts > El Rancaguino

Sometimes parents will complain that their child is “misbehaving”, ignoring them, breaking boundaries, or throwing a tantrum over just about anything. These are complaints that are usually accompanied by a feeling of confusion, discomfort, or even powerlessness due to not knowing how to deal effectively with such situations of emotional outburst.

“Tantrums and behavior problems are something that parents, teachers and healthcare professionals are very worried about,” confirms psychologist and ed. . ‘, among other directories.

Guerrero holds a degree in Clinical and Medical Psychology, Doctor of Education, Master’s Degree in Brief Psychotherapy, specializing in Educational Psychology, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Learning Disabilities, Behavioral Problems, Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents, Attachment, Emotional trauma treatment and intervention with the EMDR technique.

“Traditionally, when confronted with a tantrum or misbehaving child, an adult—influenced by the education we all received as children—tends to criticize and overlook the child’s behavior,” Guerrero says.

The father plugged his ears from the screams of his daughter. Photo: Karlukav/Freepik.


“Today we know that any “bad behavior” of children is an SOS message (distress signal) addressed to an adult who must decipher it in order to understand what needs are not being met enough,” explains this psychotherapist who specializes in healthy relationships and behavioral problems. lead.

“Now the goal should not be to judge what a girl or boy does (behavior), but to understand why they do it (the root of the problem),” he notes.

According to Guerrero, parents and teachers, “we must learn to treat children more respectfully, to avoid punishment, blackmail and ignoring their demands for care.”

We need to know that “there is no better way to get closer to children than by prioritizing their emotional needs,” he emphasizes.

“Tantrums are normal, and the vast majority of children go through this phase that parents are so afraid of. Adults can reduce the intensity, duration, and frequency of these tantrums if they know how to properly manage them, and even prevent them by strengthening the bond with their children,” he assures.


Unfortunately, in many homes and schools we still want “bad behavior to stop, anger not expressed, anger gone, frustration non-existent,” he laments.

This is uncomfortable as “the energy of the adult is directed towards controlling and correcting the minor in order to make him yield and submit, cover up and hide, not understand and continue to function as if he were cared for in his discomfort in a proper way.” emotionally nourishing, even if it didn’t happen,” according to Guerrero.

“Knowing what goes on in a child’s brain when he has a tantrum will help us understand him better and always give him what he needs,” he says.

We must always remember that children’s brains work differently than adults’ brains and that “they have no choice but to express anxiety, fear and anger because they cannot control these emotions,” explains educator and psychologist Marisa Moya. , “Positive”. discipline trainer.

In addition, and most importantly, toddlers “depend on their fathers and mothers, teachers and teachers to treat them appropriately,” Moya emphasizes.

According to Moya, an adult should not take this childish behavior personally, but should be able to interpret it.

Rafa Guerrero, clinical psychologist, expert in educational psychology. Photo: Inma Flores.


“Traditionally, children’s tantrums are dealt with by stopping the behavior, that is, ignoring the child while the tantrum lasts,” explains Guerrero.

“But if every time a child gets angry, we don’t repeatedly offer him affectionate reactions, his brain will not be able to create a natural association between connection with an adult and relief,” the expert adds.

“Thus, the implicit message that the adult conveys to the child is that he cannot rely on his reference figures and that he can only trust himself, despite the few resources available to him at this stage of his life,” says this expert. .

By his behavior, an angry child tells us: “I am not like you” and “I do not always think and feel the same way as you.” Instead of ignoring it, an adult should remember the famous Chinese proverb: “Love me when I least deserve it, because it will happen when I need it most,” Guerrero suggests.

“What’s happening to my son, seriously?” Guerrero is asked by some of the parents who come to the clinic, distressed by the situation their son is in.

Guerrero explains that his son does not have a disorder or anything serious, and that “tantrums are normal and evolutionary, and almost all children go through this phase with more or less intensity.”

He points out that parents and educators need to know that a minor who has a tantrum experiences a lot of suffering, because “when we get angry, we usually have a very bad time, and that they demonstrate their way of feeling, thinking and acting differently than their peers” parents, which is legal and valid.

“Children, although we call them bad, naughty and defiant, just want to be cared for, loved and belong to a family group at a stage in their life in which they do not have the opportunity to take care of themselves and need the care and affection of their main guardians,” he says.

“If we do not show empathy for our children, if we do not communicate with them, we will not be able to respond to their needs or accompany them emotionally,” the expert said.

In an EFE consultation on what parents should do and avoid when their son has a temper tantrum, Guerrero notes that “an angry child needs immediate reward and is very uncomfortable when said satisfaction is medium to long term.”

“Given the emotional hold they experience during a tantrum, they are unable to anticipate the consequences of their actions,” he explains.


“In the midst of a tantrum, many moms and dads make the mistake of not validating and legitimizing our child’s emotions. We don’t let them feel angry,” he says.

However, “this emotion will be necessary for them in life, for example, so that they can say that something is unfair or wrong, or so that they can defend themselves or others,” according to Guerrero.

“Parents also tend to confuse our child’s emotions with their behavior, but these are different things. Confusing what the child feels and what he does is a mistake,” he continues.

“Emotion (anger) is always legitimate and not subject to decision, while inappropriate behavior (insulting, kicking) can become conscious and arbitrary, subject to control, and parents must learn to manage it,” he says.

It is also important to remain calm in the face of the “erupting volcano” of child tantrums. “If the father, the adult the child is orienting towards, gets carried away by the son’s emotions instead of explaining the reason for the situation, two unregulated people will appear,” he warns.

In the case of a tantrum, “when the child falls to the ground, starts kicking and becomes terribly angry, parents should position themselves at a prudent and respectful distance, as far as necessary for the child at the moment when he does not want to be touched and hugged, but at the same time the time is close enough that he doesn’t feel abandoned and feels accompanied,” says Guerrero.

On the other hand, “when a child has a strong emotion, such as rage or anger, parents should give him time (minutes, hours, or even a day) until his tantrum subsides and he gets used to the idea that they did not agree.” “to give him what he really wanted, like keep playing video games,” he concludes.

Maria Jesus Ribas.

EFE – Reports

Source link

Leave a Comment