I think the biggest conundrum for parents is when kids lash out/ yell at parents or when they completely shut down. Parents can get super frustrated and think the kids just trying to be “bad” or oppositional. But really most of the time kids just want to be heard.
One piece of advice I always tell parents, is that it’s okay to not know what to do and to ask for help. And then when someone gives you guidance, weigh that advice against how your child might respond, and if it aligns with your values then try it out (not all advice is good advice, but you won’t get the good stuff if you don’t ask!)
A few more tips are:
1. talk to your child, it’s okay to ask them what’s wrong or to ask them to open up to you.
2. Help them identify their big emotion: “I understand that you must feel really disappointed right now. Let’s take a few deep breaths and remind ourselves that we can think of other things to do since we can’t do that thing you wanted.”
3. Try to not overreact, take a second to gather yourself if you need to. Identify the powerless and frustrated feelings you’re having as a result of your child’s behavior.
4. Figure out what motivates your child and together create a goal or a plan to help with the behavior. When kids are invested in the outcome and given choices ahead of time they are redirected more easily. That doesn’t mean they’ll just flip from angry to compliant, it means both of you will struggle with the transition easier than usual, and eventually the struggle should dissipate.