How to Calm Right Brain Melt-Downs

5 Steps to Calm a Tantrum

"Wahhhhhhhhh!  I don't want to leave!" It’s happened to every parent at one point or another. You’re leaving the house, or school, or a fun playground and, all of a sudden, BOOM! your over-tired, unhappy child flips into a hitting or screaming tantrum. Or a creative combination of both!   You stand there—perhaps next to your husband who has a clueless look on his face (sorry, Dads!)—and wonder what to do.  You feel helpless. How do you help your child stop and regroup? What do you do?  Let's begin with a basic concept. 

Meltdowns shut down your child’s ability to reason.  

When your child is upset, she can no longer consciously process information. A flip has switched in the brain. It is time to calm her senses.

Simply stated, your child's ears are “turned off.”

The "switch" which toggles between sympathetic (relaxed and at rest) and parasympathetic (fight or flight response) is responsible for this sudden change. The brain flips that switch when it senses the extreme emotions of anger, fear, sadness, or even silliness.

This means that your child cannot hear you or process what is happening until he is calm and “centered.” 

You can calm your child down by calming all of the senses, including the intuitive senses that sense unseen information. Here’s how. 

Your Child's Right Brain Senses

First, it's important to be aware of the “right brain senses.”  We have five senses.  We also have five "frequency senses"—they slightly differ from the familiar five senses, and they are oh-so-important to pay attention to, when raising right brain children.  The right side of the brain is intuitive and creative. It senses subtle energy currents and waves. It is influenced by frequencies in the environment. (If you have children on the autism spectrum, as I do, this will make much more sense to you as you read them!) Outer senses processes facts. Our inner senses process "vibrational facts"—information that vibrates, like subatomic particles, sound waves, color waves, and even thoughts and feelings. These vibrational facts are collected by the following sensory pathways. We label the collection of right brain senses: V-A-K-C-T, reminding us of the unseen data continually collected by the right brain. 

The 5 “Right Brain” Senses Physical Senses V - visual (light waves, color)  A - auditory (sound waves, music)  K - kinesthetic (touch, taste, smell and movement)  Subtle Senses C - sensitivity to chi and environment (electromagnetic energy currents and fields)  T - sensitivity to thought and emotion (brain activity, heartbeats)

Want an easy way to remember this?  Left brain: outer senses, which process tangible facts Right brain: inner senses, which process "vibrational facts," or VAKCTs

5 Steps to Calm a Tantrum

Step 1: Stay calm.  Adjust your thoughts and emotions. This will be the anchor that will pull him back to center. Physically, your child will calm down more quickly when you can maintain a slow, steady heartbeat. Right-brain children are affected by frequency and your heart puts out a steady beat. It races when you are upset. It slows when you are calm. So, be at peace. Know that this melt-down is temporary, and what’s more, it is important for your child’s development—to experience his raw emotions with you, to learn to control them. Take a deep breath. Stay calm.  Step 2: Find a private place.  Find a cozy, calm, private space. If you can go to nature, this is best, but of course it is not always possible. If you are in a public place, you cannot always do anything about the “feeling” of the location, so just seek privacy for you and your child, even if it means walking back to your car. 

Step 3: Hug, hold, or rock your child.  Make sure that your hold is lovingly snug and firm