My mom gave me this advice years ago when Computer Boy was an out of control crazy little boy. I was reminded of this advice this morning when I received a comment on my last blog post about “Disrespectful Little Brat or Over-Stimulated Little Boy“.
One of my brothers (you know who you are), was a very active little boy, a lot like two of mine. My mom told me that she was able to calm him down simply by helping him recognize when he was getting out of control. When he was getting overstimulated and falling out of control, all she had to do was help him see when it was started to stop it in it’s tracks.
When Computer Boy was around 4 or 5, I noticed him beginning to roll down the mountain of craziness. There was certain wild look in his eyes that told me he was getting over stimulated. Before he could gain too much momentum, I pulled him aside and asked him how he felt. His words spoke everything. With his arm spinning in a big circle he said, “The world is going faster, faster, faster, fasterfasterfaster!”
Later when he had calmed down, I talked with him. I asked him if he remembered how he felt when the world was going faster. He did. I asked him if he liked that feeling. Surprisingly he said no. I thought he might answer different because when he was wild like that, he always seemed super happy. I then asked him when he starts feeling like that, could he calm himself down? He said he thought he could. I told him he was in control of himself and if he wanted to slow down, he could.
From then on out, as soon as I saw the wild look, I could just ask him if he could calm himself down and he would. He would usually close his eyes, take a deep breath, and just slow himself down.
I didn’t really need this technique with the next two kids. Ninja boy is definitely on the wild side but he never really lost control like Computer Boy did. Tiger Boy is my calm child (relatively speaking, he’s still very much an active boy). Dragon Boy? Let’s just say with Computer Boy we started off with and bang and with Dragon Boy we went out with a bang.
Dragon Boy isn’t quite at that reasoning age yet but he’s getting there. Soon, I hope. For now it’s just a matter of me recognizing an overstimulating situation and removing him from it (See Disrespectful Little Brat or Overstimulated Little Boy).
Of course, each child is different. This might not work for yours but it’s worth a shot. This is just what my mom found worked for her and what worked for me.