“Kids, Parents, And Power Struggles” – Chapter 5

This is a GREAT chapter called, “Stopping the Tantrums.” Teaching children how to recognize their emotions and take actions to soothe and calm themselves is really, really important.  It takes years to practice this, because many of us are still working on this as adults (and yet we expect our children to control themselves like adults!)

Think of the way we respond to children.  The scenario author Mary Sheedy Kurcinka gives on page 74 is that of a child coming home from school where every.single.thing has gone wrong.  The child comes home and falls apart.  Did this ever happen to you as a child?  Were you heard?  Or did you hear:

  • Go sit in your room
  • It’s no big deal
  • Or did you hear nothing?  Child problems were ignored because somehow they weren’t as valid as adult problems.
  • Did your parents hug you?  And did you want to be hugged or touched at that time?
  • Did they get in your face and match your intensity?

The author describes pulling out a big bag of fluffy white cotton balls and having parents imagine themselves soothing and diffusing those strong emotions with our children. What would that look like?  What would the words be?  How would we want to be treated?  Teaching children to soothe and calm themselves begins with US. We can choose to soothe and calm, and our children will learn to do the same.

A child’s emotions can be completely hijacked by their fight or flight system.  The author describes on page 77, “Does Your Child Need To Escalate To Be Heard?” on page 77, a common scenario.  She writes, “The more you know about your child’s day and life, the easier it is to pick up the more subtle cues.”   It all begins with connection.  

If we are stressed, our children are stressed too.  When we are stressed, things that don’t normally bother us do bother us, and we either don’t pick up on other’s cues as well (the author calls this “neural static”) or we overract.

Several of the strategies to help bring down intensity:

  • Get down on eye level.  Listen.  You are not getting in your child’s face to yell at them, you are getting on their level to listen to them.
  • Allow enough time for transitions, because this allows time to monitor emotions and then you have time to help manage the emotions.
  • Physcial activity – kids and adults NEED it.  A twenty minute physical break can be really important.
  • Space -sometimes the best thing we can teach our children is to say, “I need space.”
  • Deep breathing
  • Distraction
  • Sensory Activities

Parents wonder if this isn’t SPOILING the child.  The point is this is the first step, not the only step.   Have a plan for soothing for all ages, and teach teens to exercise DAILY (see more about that on page 86).  If you do all of this, and your child still just rages, it’s time to call in a professional.  They can teach your child the best strategies, and it’s easier to do it sooner rather than later.

We are here to be the alley of our child.  Let’s make a plan.

Blessings and love,

Carrie

The Season Of Light

I love this time of year! Finally, the temperatures have finally dropped here in the Deep South, it hasn’t rained for too many days in a row yet (winters have tended to be rainy the past few years), and we still have had blue skies most days!  The leaves are finally turning colors, and the world is full of October.

But even more than that, I love this season of light we are entering into. I love how it begins with the ideas of harvest and jack o’lanterns, and heads into the festivals of All Saints Day, Diwali, Martinmas with its Lantern Walk, the soft candles of Thanksgiving dinner, and the lights of the winter holiday season.

Are you ready to bring this light to your family? Here are some of my favorite ways, by festival and by seasonal ideas:

Diwali is actually coming up on October 27, 2019 this year.  We usually celebrate this within our neighborhood. There is also usually a large celebration at our local library, and at our local mandir that is open to the public.   The largest mandir outside of India happens to be in my metro area, and it is always open for tours; you can read more about it here.

I don’t love Halloween, (sorry, I know many do), but I do love harvest and pumpkins (and i do have a few back posts about Halloween on this blog if you are searching).  I so like  what the book “Festivals With Children” by Brigitte Barz says about experiencing Halloween as a transition point between Michaelmas and Martinmas:  “The candle inside the pumpkin or turnip, both fruits of the earth, is like the very last memory and afterglow of the summer sun with its ripening strength.  Then for Martinmas a candle is lit within the home-made lantern; this is the first glow of a light with a completely different nature, the first spark of inner light.”   The holiday we actually celebrate the most is All Saints Day and you can read some of our traditions in this back post.

November 11 is Martinmas.   Martinmas marks the burial of St Martin of Tours (316-397 AD).    St. Martin may be well-known for his compassionate gesture of sharing his cloak with a beggar.  This charitable gesture is at the heart of this festival for many Waldorf schools, who hold coat drives and other charitable drives around this festival. One symbol of this is working with light from lanterns in the traditional Lantern Walk.

Regarding Lantern Walks, the authors of the book “All Year Round” write:  “The traditional way of celebrating Martinmas is with lantern walks or processions, accompanied by singing.  St. Martin recognized the divine spark in the poor man of Amiens, and gave it the protection of his own cloak.  When we make a paper lantern, we, too, may feel that we are giving protection to our own little “flame” that was beginning to shine at Michaelmas, so that we may carry it safely through the dark world.  It may only be a small and fragile light- but every light brings relief to the darkness.”  There is more about this festival with links to stories, how to make lanterns, the idea of coat drives and warmth and more in this post.

Then that leads into the gratitude of Thanksgiving in the United States; Thanksgiving is one of America’s oldest festivals, and one of ten federal holidays declared by the United States Congress.  Although schoolchildren often trace it back to the Pilgrims and a harvest gathering, the first national observation of Thanksgiving was actually proclaimed by President George Washington in 1789.  Thanksgiving was celebrated  erratically after this date by individual states and at different times, and Sarah Hale, editor of the and , championed the idea of having a national day of Thanksgiving for nearly 15 years before Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving to be the Thursday in the month of November in 1863.  We can use this holiday for gratitude, for being together and making wonderful food, and for serving others.

Lastly, we head into the Season of Light.  My family celebrates Advent, so I have many posts about Advent but also other different winter festivals on this site.  Here is a back post about Advent and other Winter Festivals in the Waldorf Home but there are many back posts about each specific winter holiday (St. Nicholas Day, the weeks of Advent, Winter Solstice).  If you are looking for Winter Solstice ideas, try this back post as the reader comments with ideas were terrific!

This is a wonderful time to draw inward, and to really penetrate what you want these festivals to be about for your family and how you will celebrate these special times of closeness together.

I can’t wait to hear what you have planned!

Blessings,
Carrie

 

 

“Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles”

This chapter is entitled, “Enforcing Your Standards and Staying Connected.”  Author Mary Sheedy Kurcinka begins this chapter with a story about her fifteen year old daughter who wanted to rent a hotel room with friends to have a party instead of going to the homecoming dance.  They said no, and their daughter complained but didn’t scream and yell or give her parents the silent treatment.  The author writes,” What I realized is that over the years, my daughter had learned our family’s standards – not perfectly, mind you; she is human- but pretty darned well.  Those standards had helped her keep her cool and continue to work with us.  But it’s often difficult to imagine how you can teach your child those skills when his screams drown out your words or his blows are bruising your arm.  How do you soothe and  calm him when he’s kicking and flailing at you?  What do you do when he swears at you?  In the heat of the moment you have to help your child to stop reacting and instead to learn to choose a more respectful and suitable way to express his strong feelings. ”

The steps to this process are all practiced separately over time; only then can the child learn for him or herself to put the steps together to have a more mature response.  The steps are:

  • Have standards and expectations.  That is the foundation, and gives you the ability to say, “This behavior isn’t right; let’s make a different choice.”
  • Enforce the standards of reaction. By that, do we accept hitting as a response to a standard?  Do we accept being sworn at?  We can then stay, “Stop. In our family, we don’t hit.  We don’t swear at each other – you can tell me how angry you are!” Your words have to match your actions, and usually this step is more effective in children who are not yet adolescents.
  • Keep your standards consistent.  You cannot punish when you are in a bad mood, or let things go because you are in a great mood.  No one can predict how you will react if you aren’t consistent, and that can lead a child or teen toward being hypervigilant and prone to being frustrated and feeling helpless because the child doesn’t know where the line is.
  • Deal with guilt.  It is so hard to see our children upset, crying, sad, frustrated, angry.  However, if we avoid all boundaries, our children may not be very nice to be around. If we can’t help them handle their strong feelings, we are showing them that those feelings are not acceptable, and that we are helpless when they feel strongly.
  • Match your actions with your words.  Shouting isn’t action.  Yelling isn’t action.  We need to stop and move to stop our child.
  • Review your standards with the child BEFORE you get in the situation again.
  • Teach your child what they CAN do!  Teach them how to act when they are frustrated or upset.  
  • Practice with your child.  You can pretend and role play the situation with smaller children and go over the situation verbally with older children.
  • Consequences are okay.  Consequences are planned out, laid out, discussed before the situation occurs.
  • If you make a mistake, it’s okay!  There are no perfect parents.  It is okay to admit you didn’t handle something right.  It is okay. too, to have backup.  From page 69, “Research has shown that if one adult says what the standard is, kids may or may not get it.  But if two people say what the standard is, even weeks later, kids still know the standard and follow it.  So if you want to increase your effectiveness, get a backup.”  If you and your partner end up fighting instead of backing each other up, just give each other grace.  Learning to work together is a process that takes time and it involves creating a plan.  
  • You can always change the standards.  If you have been doing things that hurt each other instead of helping, you can always come together and decide what to do differently.

Hope you enjoyed Chapter Four!  On to Chapter Five!

Many blessings,

Carrie

Manbabies

Manbabies are the subject of sarcastic definitions and memes on the Internet….here is an example from Urban Dictionary:

Manbabies:

A man who acts like a baby. If he doesn’t get his way, he becomes crabby and unable to work with. thinks he’s always right. Can be angered and upset by anything.

Must proceed with caution!

If you come into contact with a Manbaby, back away quickly and run like hell.

Manbaby’s are good at concealing themselves amongst society. They seem normal at first but throw fits not long after dating them. Be wary.

-From Urban Dictionary

I am so fortunate because TERRIFIC and WONDERFUL partners and dads write me every single day!  I am so grateful for them!  I am married to someone who is the complete opposite of a manbaby and I am grateful for that, every day of our 27 years of marriage.  However, I have to say being 49 years old can be a bit disheartening because I see a lot of women in their mid to late 40’s and early 50’s dealing with divorce.  

Some of it is infidelity and growing apart…but a large reason is women who have killed themselves for years doing EVERYTHING and her spouse or partner essentially  wanted to do nothing at all, sometimes not even wanting to work, and who certainly didn’t act like they wanted a close emotional relationship with their family – partner or children.  They wanted to do what they wanted to do, and it didn’t really involve the family.

Selfishness in romantic relationships has always existed. In this sense, the idea I think people are trying to convey with “manbaby” is maybe just a new term for something that has been around for ages.  So, my definition of a manbaby  might be a little bit different then the Urban Dictionary one. My indicators, not all inclusive but a few brief points  in the context of family life goes something like this:

  • Does your partner want to at least equally contribute to the finances of your relationship? Does your partner hold tight finances over your head but buys whatever he wants? Can you even talk about finances?  That’s partnership level stuff in a relationship.
  • Does your partner support and nourish and protect you? That’s the friendship/lover side of a relationship.
  • Do you find equity in household chores and caretaking?  Inside and outside, lawns and garbage and car care and cooking?  Or are you doing EVERY single thing every week, including working outside the home, taking care of children, and everything thing else?
  • Does your partner do anything with the children – does he change diapers, feed them, help set boundaries, do bedtime, help with homework, help arrange so you are not always on and that you can have time by yourself? Or is every single thing an unwanted chore and source of complaint?
  • Is your partner verbally and emotionally supportive?
  • Does your partner want to be home or are they always gone out with friends or zoned out in front of a screen?

I know relationships can be more complicated than the famous Ann Landers question, “Are you better off with or without him?” – especially when it involves children and marriage. It’s complicated!!    And sometimes there are extenuating circumstances such as addiction, mental illness and more.  Sometimes I do wonder though if the whole phenomenon/idea of manbabies is sort of a cover way of saying “narcissist” – you can always look up narcissist and find a therapist specializing in how to deal as the partner of a  narcissist if you think that is what you are dealing with.

However, not withstanding all that, maybe a better question is this:

Can this relationship become legendary? Can we be an amazing, communicative, connected TEAM that drives the family?

 How can we move towards this?

What would that look like?

Is my partner or spouse open to that?

Perhaps the second better question than a casual meme or definition found in Urban Dictionary is:  Can relationship dynamics change?

I guess I am always hopeful that relationships can get better, that we can get better.  Maybe you are saying  right now, hey, my partner and I are ready!  We have talked about it and we are ready to change our lives and level up!  I love this, I have seen it happen, I think it is possible if both parties are open and narcissism is not involved.

But How?

  • Clear and open communication
  • Visionary goals set together!
  • Counseling
  • Time and attention on your actual relationship, not just the children. You are a team, you are the beginning of the family as a unit and after your children are grown up and living their own lives, you will be together again without them living with you.
  • Respect and appreciation for each other and each other’s strengths

A few recommended readings:

Feel free to DM me admin@theparentingpassageway.com and share your thoughts or comment here.

Blessings,
Carrie

Supporting Young Adults Past High School Graduation

This is such a hot topic amongst my friends right now since many of us have young adults in the age range of 18-20.  We have debated responsibiity and freedom, future plans and goals or lack thereof, and how we help our young adults transition into being healthy, happy, independent adults.

We all kind of know the options – four year college, two year college, vocational or trade school, military, gap year, or full time employment.  The teenaged brain isn’t a mature one, and many teens have developmental needs that impact the timeline of further independence as well.  There really aren’t easy answers, and every young adult is different in what they need in terms of support.  It can get a little crazy at this age and almost becomes a pressurized comparision time just like it did way back in the  baby and toddler years of who is sleeping through the night first, who is walking first – only now it is who knows what they might like to do for a career, are they going to college, if they aren’t going to college what does that transition to independent living look like?

Things are different now than when we started out.  Financial constraints are real.  A full time job that pays federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour would require a 94 hour work week in order to afford a one bedroom apartment (typically).  You can see a breakdown of this by state here.  Also keep in mind employees that are tipped could make more or less than the minimum wage.  I also find many young adults who are used to a certain standard of living from their family (my area is a suburb that definitely has a mix of poverty and wealthy), are reluctant to try to branch out on their own  because they essentially want and expect what their parents have and probably built up over many years.

Student debt is real.  The student debt figures from 2017 stood at $1.4 trillion overall, with the average student loan debt in 2017 being $34,000.  Some students, depending on their major, have reported being underemployed or with difficulty entering the job market.

So, perhaps for some of these reasons, for  the first time in 130 years, according to the Pew Research Center, those 18-34 are more likely to be living with parents than married or living with a partner (see article here).  There was also a  super interesting article here at The Washington Post that pointed out another potential cause.  It suggested that there are many young able bodied men without college degrees that are happy being underemployed or unemployed, living with their parents and playing video games.   In part, this article said, ” The paper attributes one-third to one-fifth of the decline in work hours by less-educated young men to the rising use of technology for entertainment — mainly video games. The new study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, and the researchers say they are continuing to refine the precise figures. But other prominent economists who reviewed it for this story said it raises important questions about why so many young men have abandoned the workforce….[ He added], “They find evidence that a portion … of the decrease in work time of less-educated young men can be a result of the appeal of video games.”

So, if you are supporting your 18-19 year olds, or you are coming up to that age in a few years, what are some things you could be thinking about for this transitional period?

1 – Actually making it a transition.  Can they pay you rent if they are living with you?  How will you handle that?  What about responsibilities around the house?  Do they hold a job?  Why or why not?  Are they playing video games in place of employment?

2 – How can you help them with further training for employment?  What do they need to go to trade school or a two or four year college? Or will they work a job and get on the job training?  Is the cost of training/education realistic debt-wise in comparison to a salary that can be made?

3-What are their relationships like?  How can they tap into community? Is there something beyond screens that is healthy and satisfying?

4- Are you rescuing them?  The best way to prepare for life isn’t just a high school diploma or a GED, but  to learn is from mistakes and natural consequences.

5 – Do you trust your young adults to create their own lives, even if it looks different from what you envisioned?  

6- Do you know your own boundaries? What works for you and your family in relation to your young adult.  What are your expectations, your attitude, your ideas?  It’s easier to think about this before the situation comes up and you are in the middle of it.

Everyone has different stories and experiences.  Leave me a note in the comments and tell me what worked or didn’t work!  Would love to hear your tips and ideas!

Blessings,

Carrie

Michalemas Is Almost Here!

“Spring and Summer require of man that he give himself up to Nature; man lives his way out of himself and into Nature. Autumn and Winter would have man withdraw into his own human domain and set over against the death and decay of Nature the resurrection of the forces of soul and spirit. Spring and Summer are the time of man’s Nature-consciousness; Autumn and Winter are the times when he must experience his own human self-consciousness.” – lecture by Rudolf Steiner, Michael and the Dragon, found compiled in Festivals and Their Meaning IV Michalemas.

Michalemas is often celebrated in Waldorf Schools and around the world as a festival of courage.  Indeed, as the darkness descends and the days become longer, we hope we can take in the sunshine and strength of the meteor showers of August, the growth of summer, for strength and fortitude into the darker spiraling days of autumn and winter.  Autumn and winter can be an time of intense personal and spiritual work; just as children’s physical bodies often grow during the summer and as we go back to school we remark how tall all of the children have become, this time can now be the time of spiritual examination and growth for us as we move forward in our purpose in the world.  Our special day is September 29th for this festival, but the season of Michaelmas itself extends for months.

Of course, none of this is directly told to the children, but they sense this idea of courage and growth with the Michaelmas festivals, the songs about “a knight and a lady”, the taming of the dragon at school or in their homeschool group. This is based upon  St. Michael, one of the four archangels, and who was the angel who threw Lucifer out of Heaven.  He is  seen as the Angel of Courage, the Angel of the Fight Against Evil.  Take courage for the long, cold winter from Saint Michael!  Saint Michael usually is painted as riding a white steer, carrying a heavenly sword, and slaying a dragon.  Sometimes he is portrayed as carrying scales, because he also has the task of weighing the souls of men.

The Wikipedia definition cites where Michael fits into Christianity, Islam and the Jewish religions (and more,) here:

Michael (Hebrew: מִיכָאֵל‎, Micha’el or Mîkhā’ēl; Greek: Μιχαήλ, Mikhaḗl; Latin: Michael or Míchaël; Arabic: میکائیل‎, Mikā’īl) is an archangel in Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition. He is viewed as the field commander of the Army of God….The Talmudic tradition rendered Michael’s name as meaning “who is like El?”, – so Michael could consequently mean “One who is like God.” But its being a question is alternatively understood as a rhetorical question, implying that no one is like God.”

If you would like to read more, here is the link to the full entry:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_%28archangel%29

And indeed, on this Sunday, the 29th, the Western Church celebrates The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, and the Jewish religion begins the beautiful holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

Some traditional ways to celebrate Michaelmas with children include:

  • Start learning Michaelmas songs and verses.  Try Autumn Wynstones and many other traditional Waldorf books for ideas.  You may also have hymns or music within your own religious path.
  • Look for Michaelmas Daisies.
  • Have Harvest Foods. (This used to include roasting a goose – tell me, my European readers, does it still??)
  • Tell stories about Saint Michael  or St. George.
  • St. George is  the Earthly counterpart to Saint Michael – you could make Saint George tunics (white pillowcases with red crosses sewn on).  Swords and shields are also customary,
  • You could dye capes from marigolds for the big day.
  • You could make a Courage Salve from Calendulas.
  • You could do something that requires bravery that day – a hike, an obstacle course?   How about a scavenger hunt for Dragon Tears?
  • Making dragon bread is very traditional. There is a lovely bread recipe and  corresponding story in the festival book “All Year Round”.
  • You can make Michaelmas Candles, see page 143 of “All Year Round”
  • Crafting “shooting stars” and dragons are also traditional.

For adults, the work of this season is deeper.  If you are a parent, I urge you to pray and meditate over your children and their growth toward goodness, kindness, beauty, truth, responsibility and duty, and most of all self-control and compassion towards others.  It is a wonderful time for spiritual growth as a family in whatever way this is meaningful to you all as we will be heading into a season of Light for the world.

For my own personal spiritual work, I have a book I am working on out of my Epsiscopalian traditions – “The Four Vision Quests of Jesus” by Rev. Steven Charleston, a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma,  who is an Episcopalian priest ordained at the Standing Rock Rservation and who has served as the director for Native American ministries in the Episcopal Church.  (Link on Amazon)

Rudolf Steiner said in the lecture “The Michael Imagination” found in “Festivals and Their Meaning IV Michalemas”,  “We must learn to know this process as the expression of the inner conflict of Michael with the Dragon; we must learn to raise this process into consciousness. Something has then come about to which the Michael Festival may be linked. But it must first be there, be fully understood, inwardly, deeply understood. Then it will be possible to celebrate the Michael Festival in the way a festival drawn from the cosmos can be celebrated by men. Then we shall have the knowledge which is really able to see something in iron other than what the chemist of to-day or the mechanic sees in it. Then we shall have what teaches us how to take in hand the iron in our own organism, in the inner part of our human nature. Then we shall have the majestic picture of Michael in battle with the sulphurous Dragon, of Michael with the flaming sword of iron, as an inspiring impulse to what man must become, if he is to develop the forces of his evolution for progress and not for decline.”

May we all be learning and progressing forward for the goodness and beauty of our children and their generation, and for the progress of all of humanity.

Many blessings for a happy season of strength,
Carrie

Book Study: “Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles”

(We are kicking off our new book study on Mary Sheedy Kurcinka’s “Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles:  Winning for a Lifetime.”  Some of you may be familiar with Mary Sheedy Kurcinka’s book, “Raising Your Spirited Child,” but this book is just as wonderful and I think applicable across a wide range of ages and stages. So grab a copy of the book and follow along!  Also, check out IG and FB @theparentingpassageway for tips/reminders each week based off some of the ideas in each chapter so we can all have winning families and be the parents we want to be!)

Chapter Three is “Bringing Down the Intensity: You’re The Role Model.”  The author jumps right in by saying, “Learning to express strong emotions, like anger and frustration, respectfully and selectively is learned behavior.  You don’t have to be a victim of your emotions.  You can choose your response.  You don’t have to react.”

This is so often easier said then done!  The connection between threatening or frustrating situations and stress hormones is clear.  Our strong emotions can lead to pretty instinctual responses, such as striking back physically or screaming or yelling, giving in completely, shutting down, or emotionally distancing yourself from your child and just breaking off the relationship.

The problem is, none of these things really solve the problem.  They don’t teach our children a new way to react, and they tear apart relationships.  

Instead:

  1. Change the frame.  Our children are not out to get us, to make our lives miserable, they don’t have character flaws that are going to end them up with a wasted life.  See their behavior for what it is.  With older children you can ask them about the why’s.  Give your child the benefit of the doubt and listen.
  2. Set standards….for yourself.  What ways did your family express anger or frustration that you don’t want to repeat?  What do some people around you do to express anger that you don’t want to do?  Is it shaming, yelling, threatening (hopefully not hitting), swearing?  What is your standard and how will you uphold it?  Fear and intimidation may stop a behavior momentarily, or the whole thing may escalate – and does fear and intimidation teach your child how to deal with frustrating emotions or help your relationship with that child?  The author suggests we fill in this sentence:  “The next time I am angry, I promise myself that I will NOT……..” Fill in the blank that works for you.
  3. Monitor your feelings.  Standards are goals, but emotions can really derail our best intentions.  We need to learn how to identify early how to recognize what emotion WE are feeling, and diffuse it.  If we don’t, then we are over the edge and go into the behavior we don’t want at all.  Anger is usually a second emotion – we went past frustration, disappointment, fear, sadness and just went right into anger to cover that up.  The way to start to learn to identify emotions early is to pause for fifteen second throughout the day and just note your feelings.    Look for the big ones- hungry, tired, happy, irritated – and then for the more subtle emotions.  If you find your emotion, you can choose a better response.

Part of this is knowing  your stress cues.  When you are stressed, what do you do?  The author gives examples such as slamming doors, being impatients, screaming at the kids, not smiling, rushing, gritting or grinding our teeth.    We can take the time to diffuse before we walk in the door  or start bedtime routines.  Recognize what the most vulnerable parts of the day really are for you.   Many of us have control of how to tackle those daily or weekly spots, if we just recognize where those spots are!

4.  Learn effective strategies.  PAUSE is the biggest one.  Take a break and come back (walking is a great break).  If your child follows you and clings to your leg and won’t let you take a break away, you can have a time -in place where you can all sit together.  There is a very moving story about this on pages 50-51 if you get a chance to read it.  Some children who have had significant losses or separations, find a parent leaving to gather themselves traumatizing.  Be sure to explain you are not abandoning them, you will come back.  You can use a calming couch or chair (the time in all together method) or find great support for your child, like a neighbor or friend who can come over, and help you.  I urge you to have a few friends or family members you can call when you desperately need a break and who will come no questions asked (and no judgement!).  

Now is the time to make your plan and how you will handle things.  This would also be a great topic to talk to your partner or other adults in the house about.

Blessings and love,
Carrie