February 2, 2011

When Senses Don't Make Sense

"Children who have Sensory Processing Disorder have trouble interpreting touch, sound, smell, and other sensory input. What's a parent to do when a trip to the supermarket, a day at the playground--even a meal or a bedtime cuddle--overloads your child's senses?" This article from Adoptive Families discusses Sensory Processing Disorder and how it effects many of our children. I encourage you to check it out here.

Arguing with Kids is Like Trying to Talk Sense into an Angry Dog

Taken from an email from Love and Logic Parenting:

Have you ever had a successful debate with a rabid dog? I tried it once. It didn't go very well:

Fido [biting my leg]: Grrrr

Me: Now Fido, if you keep this up, there will be serious conseq - ow!

Fido [sinking teeth deeper]: Grrrr

Me: Don't you take that tone with me, mister! You are only hurting yourself with these bad choices you're making…

As humans, our miraculous brains can outperform Fido's before our first birthday. Our brains can do things dogs can't - such as complex reasoning and making wise decisions - as long as we are calm.

Unfortunately, when we are very upset, our brains switch to the part that is not much better at thinking than Fido's dog brain.

So, when we try to lecture or reason with an angry kid, we'll probably be as successful as we'd be with a rabid canine. Like Fido, upset kids are unlikely to stop mid-rage and suddenly be swayed by our wise and compelling words.

Wise adults take better care of themselves by waiting for more calm and happy times to talk with kids. They find that when the storm of emotion has passed over, thinking and logic have a better chance. Calm brains may actually be able to hear and understand what the adults are trying to communicate.

Best of all, kids tend to be more fun to talk to when they aren’t growling and foaming at the mouth. For plenty of practical strategies for responding to your kids when they’re foaming at the mouth, read Love and Logic Magic: When Kids Leave You Speechless.

Dr. Charles Fay