We just took a family walk not long ago and during that walk, I remembered a recent exprience that should be shared.
Several days ago, I tried an experiment with my 5 year old son related to emotional control. He was on his 3rd night in a row of sleep deprivation because he is a night owl and was/is adjusting to the new kindergarten schedule of early mornings. He is normally not one to have outbursts and is usually a really incredibly rational kid - which, is why I even tried this with him and will warn you - mileage may vary.
Unlike his normal self, he threw himself on the floor and began crying (no judgements, you should see how I look when we run out of ice cream). Anyways, he was going and going and going. I’d heard once…
“When you’re losing control of your emotions, try to picture what you look like to others.”
While he was having his meltdown, I took my phone out, and shot a 1 minute long video of it (and no, I’m not posting it to the internet - can’t give away all my good blackmail material). Immediately, while still throwing a fit, I played the video back. Instantly, he quieted down, made an audible “aaagggh” sound, wiped the tears from his eyes, walked over to me and began to watch the video. No more then a few seconds into it he began to laugh. He asked “is that me?”. I replied, yes - isn’t it funny? He laughed again and said “yes”. I told him - doesn’t this look ridiculous? He responded with another laugh and a “yes… RIDICULOUS!”.
Since then, no more outbursts, of course we have another week of school so we’ll see how it goes. I’m sure he’ll need another visual reminder but all-in-all… its a good lesson. If a 5 year old can stop what he’s doing, in the middle of an emotional outburst, and naturally react by laughing at himself… can’t we all take a cue and stop - maybe think more rationally about how we’re behaving and emotionally detach for a moment?