孩子鬧脾氣時該怎麼辦，就像你可能聽過數千遍？How to handle the child's tantrum, like you may have heard thousands of times?
過去在企業中從事人力資源工作時，常使用赫曼全腦優勢評量工具(Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument，簡稱HBDI)，這是一套系統化評量思考偏好的工具。 HBDI將大腦分為四個象限。每個象限代表大腦不同區域：邏輯、調理規則、感覺、直覺。每個人的大腦都具備這些象限，但不同人在思考時會根據自身偏好，偏向某種思考模式，這是很細微的潛意識認知。運用這套系統理論，幫助我在一定程度上與人們有效地交流和合作。
當我閱讀Daniel J. Siegel和Tina Payne Bryson撰寫的Whole Brain Child （中文版：《教孩子跟情緒做朋友：不是孩子不乖，而是他的左右腦處於分裂狀態！(0~12歲的全腦情緒教養法)》，地平線文化出版）一書，以及參加「全腦情緒教養法」技巧講習班時，也發現了異曲同工之妙。
We all are human beings, and no one can be chilled when a child screams nonstop for 30 minutes. You want to end it fast, but your child does not; you want to help him, but you do not know how. You are exhausted, under stress, irritated, and helpless.
If this happens to you, and you can still somehow remember some useful parenting tips, then congratulations! But if you do not retain any parenting tips, and want to tackle the situation, here are some guiding steps.
Rule No.1: BREATH and drink a sip of water, then set your expectations right.
Tell yourself that "tantrum will happen, and it will go. I need to be calm, and we will go through it".
Rule No.2: GET LOW (lower down your body to his/her level) and STAY CALM
When we speak to our child from an authoritarian posture, standing above looking down, it will trigger his/her brain feeling threatened. "Fight, flight or freeze" is the response in the toddler's brain when they feel threatened. Rather than thinking logically in the situation, your child's brain learns that there is a severe problem that needs to be tackled, and the survival mode is turned on instinctively. Some children may respond with angry words or actions; some may hold back, and some children may walk away or hide.
Rule No. 3: Know who you are dealing with!
When I worked in the human resource field for corporations, one of the cognitive measurement models I ever used is the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI), which describes thinking/working preferences in people. HBDI divides the brain into four quadrants. Each quadrant represents a different function of the brain: Analytical, Practical, Relational, Experimental. While everybody has these quadrants, the model advocates that we all have a preferred way of thinking without even realizing it. This tool helps me to communicate and work with people effectively at a certain level.
When I read the "Whole Brain Child," written by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, and attended some local workshops offering to practice the Whole Brain Child techniques, I found some similarities during practices.
According to the "Whole Brain Child," the brain is divided into "left and right brain" and "upstairs and downstairs brain": the left brain controls logical thinking, and the right brain controls emotions. The upstairs brain refers to the frontal cortex, which makes decisions and balances the emotions, and is under construction until the mid-twenties. The downstairs brain refers to the primitive/reptilian brain. It is responsible for autonomic functions like breathing and heart rate. This area is responsible for processing signals that we receive from our bodies, which may trigger actions or reactions. It often involves a lot of emotions, as well.
For children under six years old, emotions often come and go, and very often are triggered by the "downstairs brain."
So, know your child's status, try to understand which part of his/her brain is working now, and then prepare your strategy accordingly.
*GOLDEN RULE: Never use your downstairs brain to tackle the child's tantrum triggered by his/her downstairs brain! If you are also in the downstairs brain, you should pause and reset, or ask someone to help.
Rule No. 4: Acknowledge the feeling from both sides, connect with the child, and redirect!
Put yourself into your child's shoes: when you are in the middle of emotional breakdowns, you do not like anyone telling you what to do or explaining to you why you are upset or irritated. The same applied to children.
Use your right brain to connect with his/her right brain. You can acknowledge the child's feelings. You can say: "You are upset, I am here"; or ask the child: "You are upset, shall we hug?", "You are upset, I understand. Shall I stay here with you, or shall I wait for you outside?"
You may not hear the answer immediately, but you can still repeat it calmly. To some extreme level, you may start losing your patience; then, you can tell your child that "You are upset, and I hear you. It seems like you do not want me to be here. I am also starting to lose patience. I love you, but I will be outside (a specific place) waiting for you. When you are ready, I am there waiting for you. "
Once your child is calm and more in control, you can help him/her to connect with the left brain by explaining the lessons or disciplines. What if he/she melts down again? Then bring your right brain back again and connect with his/her right brain.
Rule No. 5: Help the child to connect with the brain (left and right, upstairs and downstairs), and it may help to avoid the tantrums in the long run.
For a little child under 6, is it worthy of working on the upstairs brain? Does he/she understand? I would say yes! As parents must be patient, do remember that the upstairs brain is under construction until 25 years old.
Just help the child to reflect on what happened when he/she is chilled. You can discuss what happened and how the child reacted without judgment/emotion. Then ask questions like "What should we do?", "What should we do next time?" Provide options like "Would you like A or B?" (but first make sure that both A and B are comfortable for you before suggesting them to your child) and sometimes discuss or negotiate.
For more tips regarding "the whole-brain child," you can visit https://www.drdansiegel.com/pdf/Refrigerator%20Sheet--WBC.pdf.