How to calm your child by Dr. Munn, Child & Adolescent Therapist in Mountain View, CA & Online Therapist & Coach for Women with ADHD, Anxiety & Depression.
When children and teens are having a meltdown, their amygdala, which is responsible for quickly processing and expressing emotions, and part of the “downstairs” brain, is activated, making it hard to self-soothe, think rationally, and make good decisions.
One of the things we can do to calm our children and teens is to “name the emotion.” When we label the emotion (e.g., you’re really angry right now now; you’re really disappointed right now), an area responsible for labeling and processing the emotion, the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, gets activated and helps soothe the “downstairs” brain, causing the child to down-regulate and think more rationally.
Thus, if you notice your child or teen getting overwhelmed, help them regulate by “naming” the emotion. If your child experiences persistent meltdowns and has a hard time self-soothing, seek a child & adolescent therapist.
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Disclaimer: The content in this post is only intended to increase your knowledge on parenting and child development; it is not online therapy. If you’re concerned about your child’s immediate safety please call 911 and consult with a licensed clinician about any clinical symptoms you are observing in your child.