Friday, March 8, 2013

Raising a drama queen/king - oh my!

Could your child win the award for the best actor in a melodrama?  What do you think?

Drama queens and kings are being raised all over the world.  They are referred to by saying they have a "flair for drama" or they are a "real character".  Other descriptive words and phrases are: "full of personality, an old soul, seven going on thirty, a spit fire drenched in pink" and on and on.  These are code words  for "drama queen/king."

 And what precisely is a drama queen/king?  It is a child who uses his/her emotions to manipulate, and whose emotional reactions are disproportionate in intensity to the situation. For example, like someone who wants their sandwich cut in a diagonal as opposed to straight, and then completely falls apart like it's the end of world."  Sound familiar?

They overemphasize retorts with gestures such as gagging, rolling the eyes, fake tears and tantrums.  When you say no hysterics follow.  The drama virus is pretty well equal for both boys and girls.

A good book to check is authored by Tracy Hogg entitled, "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer."  In her book she describes five different baby personalities.  Number four is the "spirited" child.  This child is the one who emerges from the womb knowing what she/he likes and doesn't like.  These kids will not hesitate to let you know what they prefer.   These babies are vocal and sometimes aggressive, have high energy,  are feisty and very active.

Dramatic outbursts can be learned from emotional, sulky or perfectionist parents.  Kids use misbehaviour to achieve one of the four goals:  attention, power, revenge or avoidance.

Melodramatic kids tend to be rigid in their thinking and have a strong sense of right and wrong, which frankly contributes to the intensity of their responses to even the smallest things.

You need to be consistent with spirited kids - that seems to be the key.  We need to teach our kids that we can indeed choose our emotions.  The ones we choose will steer us where we are going, and get us to our goals.

Remind yourself not to engage or react to the dramatic outbursts (meaning don't get mad). Getting them to laugh is the quickest way to diffuse the situation.

Hope this was helpful to you today. Remember the words of William Shakespeare:

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts..."
          - As You Like It

Remember to read on and read always.

Here are some cute drama queen cartoons for you enjoy on this Friday! Have a great weekend everyone.

and finally......

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