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Towards a “Scream-Free Home”

Coping with stress at home with your special needs child can be challenging. As parents and siblings relate with the special child, it is inevitable to experience some meltdowns and tantrums. Equipping ourselves with some cool down tools or strategies may greatly decrease stress.

From the Executive Director of Celebrate!ADHD, an educational organization that provides training for educators, parents and children, Kirk Martin, provides tips for maintaining a scream-free home.

First, control one self. A parent’s foremost job is to control themselves and model appropriate behavior. How can we expect our kids to be calm when we lose our cool?

Second, maintain self respect. When your child is in a bad mood, so be it. You are not responsible for their behavior, attitude or action. When your child barges in, barks and becomes rude, you are not obliged to reply. Best option is to walk away, do your own business and say that when he’s ready to talk and be polite, you will help with breakfast. If your child brushes off homework, then he will experience the consequences at school. It is essential that children learn that they are responsible for their choices, and you are responsible for yours.

Third, take a calm posture. Whenever you approach your child, decide on having a conversation or confrontation. Rather than barking orders, take your seat, raise your feet up and relax. Yelling and lecturing is more difficult with this calm posture.

Fourth, take care of yourself. Do what makes you relax – exercise, pray, listen to music, dance. Decide that you are responsible for your actions no matter what your child does.

Fifth, be the calm in the storm. Problems are solved rather than created when we remain calm. When everything seems to spin out of control and you keep a sense of calm, enlist others to your mission by sitting down and coloring or reading a book. Show them who is in control. It will be surprising to see them calm down sooner.

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