Yesterday I was enjoying a lovely birthday doing things I enjoy. I started the day with a lovely breakfast and a dog walk and then went to the gym for Aqua Aerobics which I hadn't done since before Christmas. I started chatting to someone in the changing room and found that she was a granny of a 13yr old who she was worrying about due to her behaviour in school. I found myself drawing the Drama Triangle on the front of the locker with my finger. I'm talking about the Drama Triangle on Wednesday eve 1st Feb. Here's the link to book - it's FREE
She was concerned about her granddaughter and explained that she kept asking her what was wrong and why she was so angry. I showed her by pointing at the 'P' on the triangle, that this behaviour - shouting and being angry, is what we call 'being in Percecutor'. By this time, the child is in 'fight' mode (flight/fight/freeze) and is unlikely to be able to access the 'why'.
Not being able to answer this question can increase the sense of overwhelm and make her think she's stupid for not being able to answer. This will increase the anger and add confusion into the mix as well as disappointment at not knowing.
Gran (for confidentiality purposes) asked "well what can I ask then, how can I help her?" So I pointed at the 'V' on my makeshift diagram. This point is what we call 'victim' and it's where we feel helpless and this is sometimes called 'poor me'. Children often feel like this and it more often happens at school for obvious reasons as there's more potential for feeling that 'I can't' feeling.
I explained that when we are in 'victim' we can only bear that for a while before we start to feel angry because we feel we are not being heard, loved, understood and so on and that's when we move into 'Persecutor' and expressing that anger and frustration.
The time to intervene is when they are in 'victim' and as this may be during the day at school by the time they get home it may be difficult for them to remember what happened BEFORE they became sad and then angry. So have the conversation at another time when things are calm. Gran said they would be doing some baking together this weekend so I suggested then would be a good time to have a chat about it.
While you're baking you can talk about how you add different ingredients and then mix them all up and then put the mix in the oven to cook and the cakes or cookies taste amazing. It's a bit like our feelings. Each ingredient could be something happening at school, one thing after the other until it feels like a mix of things all muddled together. However when you imagine putting it all in the oven (your heart) and sending yourself some love and compassion, understanding that all will be well, then in no time the cakes will be ready and you can eat them.
I help children and teens by showing them techniques they can use to calm that anger with EFT Tapping. When we tap on the angry thoughts we soon feel calm and when that happens, we can think more clearly about how we could express what we need and be heard and understood. The tapping process is all about love and compassion, accepting those angry thoughts and gently tapping them away until we feel calm and able to problem solve and make a more resourceful decision about what to do.
If you'd like to know more about how to help your child with their feelings, have a look at my book 'Empower your Kids! A coaching guide for parents'
If you think it would be interesting to train to help children and teens with whatever they struggle with, get in touch or take a look at my training courses either for you as a parent or to become an NLP & EFT Kids Practitioner.
If you'd like to book some sessions for your child or teen, I offer a series of four one hour sessions working on different emotions using LEGO
Get in touch to book a chat with me - half an hour and it's free!