001: On-Air Consult Meltdown Mode – Tips to calm a toddler in distress

30th October, 2018 Posted under Impressive

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Welcome to the Inaugural Impressive Podcast with Dr Kimberley O’Brien. On episode 001, Kimberley discusses  Rigid thinking, Sensitivity to change, Issues with emotional regulation, Meltdowns and toddler development.  Enjoy:

  • Embracing flexibility as a way for a child to embrace change
  • The advantages of keeping calm during and weathering out the storm
  • he benefits of making a plan

Enjoy the Episode

Recommended resources

Here are the recommended resources to support a 3-year-olds exhibiting Rigid thinking, Sensitivity to change, Issues with emotional regulation and Meltdowns

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About Impressive

Impressive is a weekly podcast that sheds a new light on the world of parenting. Join host, Dr Kimberley O’Brien PhD, as she delves into real-life parenting issues with CEOs, global ex-pats, entrepreneurs, celebrities, travellers and other hand-picked parents.

In an approachable on-air consultation style, she listens to some of the smartest, kindest parents share their latest parenting challenge with their incredible kids. Together they brainstorm solutions and Kimberley offer handy tips and valuable resources to help bring out the best in toddlers, teens and in-betweens. Drawing mostly on two decades of experience as a child psychologist, Kimberley also shares her personal insights as a mother of two and entrepreneur with a passion for problem-solving.


[00:00:08 – 00:00:29] Dr. Kimberley O’Brien introduces herself and entices her audience to join her in discovering practical tips in family rearing.

Doctor Kimberley: Hello, I’m Doctor Kimberley O’Brien — a child psychologist, entrepreneur, and mom with a passion for problem-solving in family adventures. Join me each week for practical tips and on-air consultations with the smartest, kindest parents and their incredible kids. Find answers faster, do things differently, and take your family further. This is Impressive.

[00:00:30 – 00:00:33]  This episode is sponsored by BrighteChild.com. Now, let’s get started.

[00:00:35 – 00:09:21] Dr. O’Brien introduces Kate and her daughter, Adie, who’s having uncontrollable behavior. Dr. O’Brien gives practical tips on how to manage meltdowns and rigid thinking, changes to routine, and how to develop your support network.

Doctor Kimberley: Hello, and welcome to Impressive. I’m so glad that you could join us today. We’re doing our very first episode and this is an on-air consultation with a mom based in Sydney, Australia in regard to her three-year-old daughter named Adie. So, this week, we’ll give you some practical tips on how to manage meltdowns and rigid thinking, changes to routine, and how to develop your support network when it feels like everything is against you and you have a seven-month-old baby to contend with as well. So, thank you so much to Kate for volunteering to be part of the on-air consultation. If you’d like to be part of an on-air consultation, drawing on my two decades of experience working with children and adolescents in clinics and classrooms, I would absolutely love to hear from you. You can go on to Facebook and join our community. If you will look for Impressive–the podcast–you’ll find us there. Or otherwise you can go to www.brightechild.com to find out more about Impressive, the podcast. And you can drop us an e-mail via support@quirkykid.com.au, that’s Q-U-I-R-K-Y-K-I-D-dot-com-dot-au if you’d like to be part of an on-air consultation.

So, without further ado, let’s introduce Kate and find out what’s been happening since they recently returned from five weeks away in Europe, and there has been a lot of changes for the lovely Adie since then. So, she’s not so happy and Kate is starting to lose her patience and feeling like, she needs all the support she can get. So, I hope these resources that I recommend are useful. You can find some details in the show notes, and we’ll go through some books and different point chats, and things that can be helpful when kids are learning how to verbalize their emotions, rather than using actions. So, it’s called emotional regulation, and we’ll talk more about that in this episode. Thanks for listening, and let’s get started.

Hi, Kate, and welcome to Impressive. We’re going to talk today about your three-year-old Adie. I just wanted you to kind of unload what the issue is, so that we can brainstorm together and come away with some solutions in the next 20 to 30 minutes. So, what are the current issues?

Kate: There are few. There are quite a few. Basically, she’s been having these uncontrollable tantrums and I see the most daily, sometimes twice daily. And I feel like we’re walking around on eggshells because of we’ll never know when she’s going to erupt. And the smallest things that can set her off like, just say no to something that she wants, which I know sounds like an obvious reaction of a toddler. But I think it’s the way she handles it like the level of tantrums she gives for quite a small thing.

Dr. Kimberley: Okay.

Kate: So, when for instance, she always wants me and she likes things in a certain way. If they’re not that way, then she kind of loses it. Like, she always wants us to wet her hair. We were overseas about two and a half weeks ago; we just got back, and it was hot. If she sees me wet my hair in the morning and she wants me to wet her hair. She wants me to wet her hair like, all the time. She wants it [wrung]. You know, it’s colder here at night at Woollahra, and if I say no, she will lose it. She’ll stand there repeating herself, “Wet my hair. I want my hair wet. I want my hair wet. Wet my hair, wet my hair, wet my hair.” She could habitually say that on repeat in the same monotone voice for an hour. And then, she’ll start screaming and yelling, and it gets to this point certain times where she is screeching in this cuddle, animalistic way. I’m surprised the night someone called the police, like it sounds terrible. It’s something that’s happening in our apartment. And she started hitting, and kicking, and spitting. And she knows that hitting we’ll get our reaction. She’ll come up and hit me, and I’ll say, “Adie, we don’t hit. We don’t put our hands on other people. It’s okay to be angry but you can’t hit. You can’t hit, you can’t kick.” And she’ll keep doing it, and keep doing it, and keep doing it. Now, I’ll pick her up and I’ll put her in her bedroom, and then she’ll come out, and I’ll pick her up and I’ll put her back in, and then she comes out. It just goes on and there’s like no end to it.

And she is really quite horrible to my husband–her father. If he tries to help her, if she’s caught, she’ll always look for me; always wants me. If he would go into her room if I’m with my son and he wasn’t to help her at any stage during the night or if she’s having a tantrum or anything like this, she spits at him like a cat and makes these noises. It doesn’t want to do anything with him. She’s horrible to him and he’s so loving to her. She can be loving to him, but most of the time she’s horrible to him.

Dr. Kimberley: Kate, how long has this been happening? Is this like a new thing or it’s kind of always been like that?

Kate: She’s been having tantrums since she was two. I think she’s kind of gotten progressively for us. It’s like, hitting and there’s intense screaming, and its repetitiveness at least while we were away. It started happening.

Dr. Kimberley: Okay.

Kate: I think I’ve spoken to her kindergarten teachers about her, and daycare teachers, and they think a lot of it has to do with the fact that there was no routine, which has always been good with her routine. No routine at all while we were overseas, that would have taken an adjustment. And then coming back, having a routine implemented again, it’s like another thing. And then, there’s my son, who she’s probably very jealous of because he takes up my time as well. Okay, I get why I just need to be able to deal with it.

Dr. Kimberley: I love it. And so, I’m thinking that she seems quite rigid in the way that she wants things done on a certain way. Is that right?

Kate: Yeah. Well, actually, she likes things done in a certain way. Actually, she wants her hair, what she always wants to use, like eat with this one particular spoon, or porridge. Every morning, she’ll say the same thing, “Can I have porridge? I want to put the honey on. Can you please put some milk in? I want a lot of milk over the honey.” Or if I don’t want to go with it and I want to put the muesli in everytime, and I have to put the honey on top of the muesli. It’s like, everything has to be like this. And if you do it slightly off, then Mike will help.

Dr. Kimberley: Yeah, so we could, like a big meltdown, if there’s a ritual that she wants you to follow, it needs to be done in this order. And then, there’s a meltdown afterwards where she just can’t regulate her emotions and it’s like she’s just spilling over. I wonder there’s meltdown’s go for?

Kate: It depends. I know that being calm won’t help the meltdown ease a lot sooner, but sometimes I’m overwhelmed and I can’t stay calm, and I’ll lose it, and that makes things worse. And I want, but I’m human.

Dr. Kimberley: True.

Kate: And I’ll just lose it. But there was one, there was one moment that was two weeks ago, it was on her first day back at kindy, so I know there was a lot of change. She came back to the apartment is just one example. She likes playing outside after kindy. If I could go out before she’s had outside play, she gets really upset. And I had time to pick her up after outside play or during outside play, and they were running late. And I had to get home for my son’s asleep. I thought everything with her playing, we’ll get in the car, she loses it. While in the car seat, I have to hold her down to sit back up. She takes her shoes off while we’re driving and throws it at my head. She was so upset. She was might as well vomit in the car park, then she started attacking me in the lift, kicking me. When we get upstairs, she’s steps at the front door. With that mean look on her wouldn’t mean touch her, would not mean near her, try to throw bottles of recycling at me. She was so uncontrollable that she wet herself. She couldn’t calm down enough to go to the toilet. It was almost like she got this point where she was so out of control that it kind of scared her that she was out of control, and she couldn’t back from that.

[00:09:22-00:12:09] Dr. O’Brien introduces the book No More Meltdowns by Jed Baker, that gives strategies to help children cope with changes like introducing change slowly and through positive reinforcement. She also mentions that flexibility would need to be worked on for Adie to embrace change.

Dr. Kimberley: Yeah, I feel for Adie. It sounds like she’s completely overwhelmed and she wants things her own way. But I wouldn’t put this down to a behavioral issue. I’m feeling it’s more around lots of prepping and planning for a change. So, I’m just got to recommend a couple of resources, just stuff of my head. So, I’m thinking there’s a book called No More Meltdowns by Jed Baker–that’s J-E-D Baker, B-A-K-E-R—and that would talk about how to kind of preempt meltdowns and put lots of strategies in place, so that the child is really aware that something different might be coming up.

Kate: Okay.

Dr. Kimberley: Because I’m thinking that Adie doesn’t cope well with change at this point, and she needs to work on her flexibility. You know, this focus on wanting a certain spoon and wanting a cereal done in a certain way, as you move forward, it’s sort of changing too much too soon. Try and keep it at she would like it, but maybe just a slight adjustment. So, it’s slightly less milk or just one particular, tiny, little adjustment to her meal time until she’s finally used to it. It could be the milk now; it’s not quite as much. Or it could be a different spoon, or something like that. But it all will take some time and just focus on one little bit of flexibility at a time.

Kate: Okay, if that spoon’s in the dishwasher, she seems like she’s okay if you use another one?

Dr. Kimberley: Okay. That’s flexibility. That’s good. Yeah, that’s awesome. So, just praising her, “That’s great! You don’t need your purple spoon today. So proud of you. You’re so flexible.” And also, just telling her grandparents or a friend, “Adie’s so flexible now. She ate with a different spoon this morning,” So, that she can hear it and is being reinforced, and she knows that mom likes that other people would say, “Wow! That’s really good. ”

And then, around the actual meltdowns, I think you’re good to just clear your space, so she doesn’t pressure on herself and that sometimes get triggered and feel frustrated as she would. When it goes on for such a long time, it’s quite extreme. So, I think just taking care of yourself as well and start thinking, “This is going to be a little bit of a long haul,” or “ She might do it when we leave.” Daycare again today, so you may bring your own supplies or a thermos of tea, or at the whole path of the car and take a stretch because I think interacting with Adie at that point is not helping. But if you’re just remaining calm and she’s safe, if she can get it down to less time than that really bad on you just mentioned, like she manages to pull it together in 10 or 15 minutes, then again let’s praise, “That was great, Adie. I love how you’re taking those deep breaths. That was amazing. You really wrapped it up quickly.” So, it’s about reaching their personal bests when it comes to calming down.

[00:12:10-00:16:21] Kate reveals that Adie’s violent tendencies do not tend to spontaneously resolve, only responding to threats of her leaving Adie. Dr. O’Brien reveals that being passive, weathering out the storm, and doing calming exercises in Adie’s presence might give her the idea to imitate Kate.

Kate: She’s not actually been able to calm down on her own. It’s always something I have to help her do like her attention to something else or, and I know this is really bad, I feel you’re going to say it it’s not good thing. But I just think about learning to leave because I don’t know. Sometimes, it’s just so bad like I need to, it’s been hard the last week and a half because my husband’s been really sick, so I have to kind of do everything for myself for I can’t rely on him. But I would need to breastfeed and put [Levy] to sleep at a certain time and I can’t. I’m trying to be flexible about it when he’s screaming as well, if I can just say no into it. And she keeps hitting me, keeps hitting me, will not stop hitting me, or pulling my clothing, she does pulls my clothing and will not stop. It doesn’t matter what I do. If I walk away, she follows me. If I go into another room, she opens the door. If I put her in her room, she opens the door and comes out and will continue hitting, continue pulling my clothing. In those situations, I might, “Fine, I’m leaving,” and I’ll get my keys. And so, if I make that threat, then she gets really upset and she’s like, “No, Mommy. I’m being good.” And I’m like, “You’re not being good. You’re being naughty.” And I know they’re probably not the best things to do, but I don’t know how else to stop it; to start thinking of things to work.

Dr. Kimberley: And that’s why we’re here to kind of just thresh her out and think what could be better or do any sort of experiment with something different, and then see whether it changes things.


[00:13:46 – 00:14:22] Dr. Kimberley: Hi, guys. I’m just popping in here briefly to let you know about our social and emotional learning program. It’s called the Best of Friends and its designed for children aged 7-11 years who want to learn more about making and keeping friends in school setting. The Best of Friends is available for clinics and classrooms, and you can find out more by going to QuirkyKid.com.au. That’s Q-U-I-R-K-Y-K-I-D-dot-com-au to find out more about the Best of Friends

Dr. Kimberley: So, I would suggest maybe just crouching down on the floor, not right next to her because you don’t want to be hit. But just kind of at her level and looking in the passive way instead of reaching out or standing over her. Just down, passive, waiting, and just modeling like, deep breaths, no eye contact, so she’s just looking at a person who’s calming down. And then, hopefully, she’ll be at some point able to focus enough to see that mom’s taking deep breaths, mom’s quiet. That’s what I need to try and do.

Kate: And if she’s hitting me while I’m doing that, what am I doing?

Dr. Kimberley: Yeah. So, if she’s hitting you, I would’ve hold her hands and just try and get yourself in a comfortable position like sitting on a side of the bed, putting a pillow in front of you, so that she can’t hurt you. If she’s going to hit you on the head or pull your hair, I would stand up, and then, hold that pillow around your waist, so that she can’t hurt you. So, it’s protecting yourself but staying close by, and try not to make too much, too many noises or demands or anything like, just don’t see it as a challenge or she’s not challenging you. She’s just desperately in need of support at that point. So, it’s not so much like you need to teach her to be respectful or stop hitting because all that information’s not going in anywhere, just be on that. Just think of it like a storm where you just need to kind of, whether the storm, breathe, and hopefully have support there, so that you can tag-team with your partner, so things are still as gliding after 15 minutes. Then, he’ll step in and do the same sorts of thing. And if you can step out, you said she comes in, he’s already spacing you house, or even if you wait into the hallway, so that he could try and calm things down, and then after 15 minutes, you come in, so that everyone’s tag-teaming.

[00:16:21-00:20:54] Dr. O’Brien advices to formulate a “Day plan” and a “Night plan” in terms of dealing with Adie’s tantrums throughout the day, like taking Adie for a walk in the morning or staying at her bedside at night.

Kate: It’s not even a tiny, two bedroom apartment in Randwick. There’s no space anywhere, that’s why she’s able to access me anywhere I go in the apartment.

Dr. Kimberley: Yeah, so then I’m thinking, say if you’re going for a walk, like instead of saying that you’re leaving, if you say, “Okay, let’s go for a walk,” You grab the pram or you start to pick up something that suggests you’re going to the park, would should be, will she follow you? And do you think it would be easier outside the apartment?

Kate: I think it’s okay to do that except it’s not always the right time to go for a walk like, this happens in the middle of the night or this happens at bedtime, or something like that, or like if I need to breastfeed. Yes, there are instances where that does work and we can do that, and we didn’t do that when we’re overseas, actually. But there were also instances where it’s not the appropriate time to just leave and go for a walk.

Dr. Kimberley: Yeah, so I think there needs to be like a day plan and a night plan that you and your partner really clear on, so that when it happens, rather than walking on eggshells and trying that [talks] at Adie. It’s doing the things that you need to do with a slight bit of requesting some flexibility from Adie. But then, if the meltdown happens, it’s kind of having a cross-plan that right, I’m going to do this; his going to do that. For example, he takes the baby, you crouch down with Adie. You just model deep breathing; see if she can calm herself a little bit. And then, hopefully, before she escalates too much, you might be able to pat her or she might come and cuddle you. You know, that would be a good result. If it continues to escalate and that everything’s just going up, up, up, then I really think it’s really just about enduring it tag-teaming until you get to the end of it. And then, thinking right what was it that triggered it that time? It was the whatever, make a note. And then, thinking, “Okay, tomorrow, let’s try to work around that trigger point,” whether it’s… what would be an example of what would trigger it before bed?

Kate: I guess there’s an excuse when all of a sudden she says , “I’m hungry.” And she knows that I will get annoyed when she thinks I’m hungry because she’s just staying where she was in dinner time. She’ll eat like, you know, half a dinner and she’ll be like, “I don’t want to eat anymore. I want to go play.” And like, “No, Adie. You need to eat some more food.” “No.” I’m like, “Okay, fine. If you’re not hungry, that’s fine.” But we don’t eat food straight before bed. Unlike what she’ll even eat enough food, she’ll eat like a whole plate of food, and there’s no way after the amount of food she has eaten that she’s hungry. But she’ll be like, “I’m hungry.” If I don’t give her food before bed, she’ll lose it.

One more story. And the thing is with her, if you give into it, then she expects it the night after.

Dr. Kimberley: Right. So, you’re good at setting boundaries even though she puts pressure on you. You don’t give in like to the “no eating waiting before bed” rule, and the no extra book. So, I think that’s good that your setting your own boundaries. It could be that she doesn’t want to go to bed or she doesn’t want to separate from you like, is there anything to do with separation anxiety? Or it’s like, I don’t think she’s hungry. You don’t think she’s hungry because she’s had a big…

Kate: There’s no way she’s hungry. Probably, I don’t know, I think she’s definitely tired because once she gets into bed, she’s asleep within two seconds.

Dr. Kimberley: Great. Good, good. So, maybe it’s just about she’s asking for food but you’re staying. Do sit next to her on a chair or something like that, or do you lie next to her until she drops off, and then you hop up.

Kate: No. I give her, read books like a whole routine. Give her a kiss  and give her 10 strokes, and then I walk out. She listens to podcast story books as she goes to sleep.

Dr. Kimberley: Perfect. I think that sounds ideal. You know how it’s very structured. It’s a ritual that you stick to. You like it; she likes it. Almost always little tantrums are about needing a ritual that you like, and then she likes. And then you can agree on that and turn to that everytime.

Kate: Yeah.

Dr. Kimberley: Because she seems like, unless it’s predictable and structured, then she feels out of control and everything just gets very emotional, and noisy, and stressful.

[00:20:54-00:26:59] Dr. O’Brien divulges more practical tips in calming Adie’s anxiety, like introducing diverse structured activities for her that she enjoys so that she’ll know she’s not straying away from something she doesn’t know and that she’s safe.

Kate: Can I just go back to one thing? When she’s like, being aggressive and in that state where’s she’s screaming like yesterday, she got right next to my baby’s head and went screaming at both of us like, very, very loudly. I felt very worried for my baby. Not that I knew nothing was going to happen to him, but that was not a nice thing for a seven-month-old baby to experience. In that situation, even I was so angry, I just need to kind of  throw all the anger away and model a calm person in front of her, and hope that that would help her calm down.

Dr. Kimberley: I think in that case because the baby’s right there, then I agree. You need to try and if there’s a support person around, pass the baby over, and then go into calming Adie mode. But if there’s no one else there, then I think hopping up, moving away, even putting the baby down and he’s caught closing the door, he might be a bit like, “What’s going on?” But what you’re doing is you’re just keeping him safe, and then you’re focusing on Adie to say what’s happened. This could take a while, ideally, she could learn to use her words, so that she can say whatever’s going on for her. This feels a little bit more extreme than the norm. So, when you look at standard three-year-old behavior, yes, there are tantrums, but usually it’s not so illogical. Yeah, both illogical and long and intense. So, you might need to start developing social stories, so when mom picks her up from school, if you haven’t had a play outside, well, stop in the park before you get home. Some sort of like, a little closure to whatever that issue was with a picture of you two at the park or something like that, so she’s like, “Okay, I get it.”

I think you’ve got the bedtime story kind of thing worked out. You could put that in pictures, so at bedtime, you do read as many books, cuddle, kiss, podcasts. So, you just introduce him more structure, so that she’s like feel safe, she’s like, “Yeah, that’s what I do. That’s what I love.” Same for the next little transition because it sounds like she’s triggered by transitions, and then things that don’t go to along the lines of her ritual. So, rather than looking at it as a behavioral issue, if you look at it as an anxiety issue, then it’s about showing her how to calm down and showing her the way through this anxious situation. So, she’s feeling like, “This is not working out. This is something wrong. What are we going to do?” So, it’s like, “Calm. This is what’s going to happen. You’re safe.” Rather than tantrum behavior, boundary pushing, you needing to escalate.

Kate: She’ll push on everything, on everything. Yeah, she’s very like, when I say no, she says yes. If I say yes, she says no like it’s ordinary, smallest, little things.

Dr. Kimberley: If you did, you know, sometimes you walk into it, a prep classroom or a kindy classroom, and you can see they’ve got pictures. We’re going to read in the morning, there are going to go outside to the garden, and then we’re going to do singing. When we kind of get “Oh, that’s like what you’re doing today.” If you would to put a visual schedule down for Adie using photos, do you think she would’ve stick to it? So, it’s just about prep rather than saying “Adie, we’re going to do this” and she says no. You can point plan and say, “Now, remember?” And there’s that whatever the sequence was just pointed out using your finger and point it with pictures, rather than your voice and challenging her to do what you’ve asked her to do.

Kate: And then, that means, there’s no room for any kind of flexibility in the day.

Kate: Then, I think, go with the Velcro tabs on the back. And in the morning, say, “Okay, it’s raining today. So, we won’t be doing swimming.” So, we’re going to move swimming down to next week, so it’s like a big timetable kind of thing. Then, we’re going to move up grandma’s face, we’re going go see grandma instead.

Dr. Kimberley: Okay.

Dr. Kimberley: We’ve given her the prep. You’ve shown her that there’s some change. And you can even have a little book like an exception’s book and using, you can do drawing.

Kate: It’s just probably better for someone who’s three years old.

Dr. Kimberley: Yeah, I totally agree. I think those setting up your or increase your support network could be really good once partner’s up and healthy again. Make it show that you have a little bit of downtime to adjust to being back at home and just giving things back into some sort of order. You know, when you’re tired, then you become more frustrated, and then Adie’s probably more likely to become more emotional, so order’s kind of travels around. So, if your husband’s well-rested, you get to have a rest. Then thinking about increase your support network as well, like, maybe having, would you have a babysitter? Or a grandparent could come in and keep Adie busy while you spend some quality time with your little guy, or is it possible to increase your support network at the moment? Think. Have a think because then, I feel that this is just going to be like you’ve, it’s a bit of a marathon at the moment and exhausting. But then, once you’re well-rested and your partner’s back into good health, then a three-week focus on, let’s just look at the times when she’s not escalating and praise those things. Let’s look at what she is flexible with and praise those things. That would start to push things in the right direction. When you said, “I wish I didn’t do it,” but have threatened to leave and I’ve picked up the case and things like that. That’s just another kind of trivia for anxiety. So, it’s kind of just all now lots of reassurance, mom’s not going to go anywhere. If it’s daytime, we’ll go for a walk. This is our meltdown plan. If it’s nighttime, I’ll take you in this room that’ll take little guy and we’re going to just stay and we’re going to breathe, and I’m not going to look at you. But when you’re ready, you just let me know that you’re okay.

[00:27:00-00:29:08] Dr. O’Brien introduces I feel Angry, I feel Frustrated by Brian Moses, a book series that deals with frustrations of children up to 10 years old. She also discusses Face It, a point chat wherein Adie can point to one of the 35 different facial expressions translated to what she feels at a specified moment in time.

Kate: Just quickly one another thing. You know, how you said when she is being aggressive, that’s not the time to talk to her about it.

Dr. Kimberley: Yes.

Kate: When is the right time to talk to her about it? You don’t hit, you don’t push, you don’t spit, you don’t kick, that kind of thing. I’ve tried blowing it up to her, but the facts didn’t happen to her. And I always asks her, if I yell, I always apologize and afterwards, and we talk about what happened afterwards most of the time. And I ask how she’s feeling and it’s always the same thing: angry, sad. I don’t know. She’s just like what she needs to say or if she was actually very angry or sad.

Dr. Kimberley: Books are a great way to communicate messages. So, if she’s good in the morning, or even if it’s one of your bedtime books, you know, there’s series like, I Feel Angry, I Feel Frustrated. Brian Moses, I like his Serious the best because they come with strategies as well like what to do when you’re frustrated, and it’s just very child-friendly. It would work for a three-year-old right up until probably 10-year-old. Yes, so that’s a good series to look at. And you really just want her to use her words. So, when she is in a good space and she’s happy, you could say, “How are you feeling yesterday?” We have point chat at Quirky Kid that we use. It’s called Face It. So, it’s like a poster with 35 different facial experience. So, you could point to it yourself, Kate, and say, “Yesterday, when we got home, I felt like this.” So, you point to the face that’s looking exhausted, frustrated, stressed, maybe. And then, you say, “How did you feel, Adie?” Maybe she’s going to point to the upset face. So, that’s good for boosting her vocabulary, so hopefully at some point, she’ll be able to use these words, rather than all that actions, which is telling you that she’s feeling like how do you interpret it. Do you think she’s feeling scared, or angry at you? What do you think her feeling is?

Kate: Angry and frustrated. Angry that we aren’t doing what she wants us to do and frustrated that she can’t have what she wants when she wants it.

[00:29:09 – 00:31:22] Empowerment is key to young children’s anxieties, Dr. O’Brien emphasizes as a final point, and it can be obtained by letting them be independent little by little.

Dr. Kimberley: Yes. Okay, final point, which I think is also important is increasing her independence because kids love it when they can do things for themselves. So, if she can pour the milk onto a cereal, or at least get the bowl out and get the spoon ready, that would make her feel empowered. And then, think of any other ways that you can better do a little bit more, so that you can sort of say, “Oh, I remember when you are little, when you couldn’t do the milk on your cereal. And now, you’re such a big girl. You can do your own milk.  You can use what you can use your words,” So, you just kind of putting in there what you want to say and praising her when you just say it.

Kate: Sure. Okay, thank you so much.

Dr. Kimberley: My pleasure. Thank you for asking and for being on the Impressive podcast

Dr. Kimberley: And that was lovely Kate talking about Addie. And I said at the very beginning of the episode, I’ll include those links in the show notes. One, in regard to your emotions, like I Feel Angry, I Feel Frustrated, by Brian Moses. I’ve included a couple of extra resources there like the Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine Aron, and that’s just very helpful for parents who have children that are overwhelmed by additional sensory stimulation like background noise or even certain textures like lighting can now trigger a sensory overload and that often, just looks like a meltdown. So, if you’d like to find out more, please go to BriteChild.com, that’s B-R-I-T-E-Child-dot-com-forward slash-impressive to find the show notes. And if you would be interested in being on the podcast, I would love to hear from you. Please send your interest to support@quirkykid.com.au, and that is the clinic in Sydney and in Wollongong where we see clients. And we would love to hear from you. So, without further ado, we’ll wrap up today and I hope you enjoy this episode. We’ll see you next week. I’m Kimbereley O’Brien and this was Impressive.

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