Jul 14, 2020
In this week’s conversation, I’m breaking down the concept that anger is rooted in fear and when fear is on the scene, growth cannot occur. When our kids, or frankly anyone, displays meltdown behavior, the anger often feels palpable. It’s scary. Fear is directly linked to explosive meltdown moments.
It’s actually quite normal to have fears. Humans are actually designed to scan our environments for danger. This is called the human negativity bias. So if you’re a person that has many fears, the bottom line is: You’re. Normal.
I think it’s important to understand fear and anger in a way that many of us have never actually thought about. Intense anger is uncomfortable and scary.
Meltdowns feel uncomfortable and scary for kids and grown ups. Whether you’re the person having the meltdown or witnessing it, we all feel out of control.
It can leave parents feeling powerless and this often leads to attempts to control our kids with fear tactics like threats, spanking and punishing. Kids under the age of twelve do NOT improve future behavior through fear tactics.
When fear is running the show, we operate from the lower parts of our brain. We literally become the neanderthal versions of ourselves, designed to merely aggressively grunt, fight and survive.
Obviously, it’s pretty ridiculous to think that our kids will learn from their mistakes when they are in this brain state. It’s also illogical to think we’re going to be effective guides or teachers when we’re in a triggered brain state as well.
This is why absolutely no teaching can happen when any human is having a meltdown. Before the sun can warm, nourish and allow flowers to bloom again, the storm must pass.
Lectures, withholding love, shaming and yelling will not prevent future meltdowns.
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