In the heat of the moment, us adults just want to rid ourselves of the emotional fire our kids have ignited for us.
For many of us, it's incredibly difficult to keep our composure and not add fuel to flame, lest do or say something that we regret later.
The H.A.L.T acronym is great and easy to remember.
H is for hunger - are we hungry? are our children hungry? None of us do well when we're starving. So let's make sure we feed the beast! Make sure the kids get something to eat when they get home from school. And there's definitely something to be said of making sure they get 3 square meals and something to snack on in between (fibrous fruit and nuts is great to sustain their energy levels).
A is for angry - we have to empathise with that, acknowledge that feeling and validate them. But we have to pick our moments when we want to discipline or teach. Wait for the flames to peter out first.
L is for lonely or lost - sometimes when our kids are feeling disconnected and we feel that distance; it's important we do what we can to close that gap. Let's reconnect, lets play, let's talk, let's eat together. Engage. Secure kids are settled kids.
T is for tired - we can all related. We're not at our best when we're knackered. Kids will be the same. End of the day after school; let's give them the benefit of the doubt. Make sure they have a good night's rest. Maybe your kids are introverted, and they recharge best when they have some 'lone' time away from other people so they can be alone a bit with their own thoughts (i know that might sound a bit dismissive, but actually, this can do wonders for an introvert).
I realise I may have oversimplified a complex situation but we need all the tools we can get to help ourselves through difficult stormy situations. And if we're tired, hungry, angry - we're not going to be thinking very well. HALT, then is a very useful and easy thing to remember in the heat of the moment.
Check out the FREE Emotional Storm Toolkit if you haven't already (www.huddlewisdom.com/gettools) I'm sure you'll find something in there that'll be of some use to you, and maybe save you some time and much precious energy.
Sometimes kids have a hard time talking to you about things when they need the most help. Learn to use emotional intelligence and empathic connection to gain co-operation without the friction.