Why I Hug My Kiddos When They Are Acting Out

Acting Out

My child needs me. When he is acting out, he doesn’t do it because he wants to hurt me. He does it because he is hurt and he doesn’t know what to do. Basically he is screaming for help. And although it triggers me, everything inside me screams for him to stop acting like he is acting. All I can do is hold him and help him. Help him to deal with his emotions. Help him to understand what he is feeling and how he can get though it. So I hug him and hold him tight, telling him it is okay to cry, okay to be angry, okay to scream. It is okay to feel all of it.

Because in the end, what do I know?!

Little Teacher

When Midiman turned 3 I shared a text written by another Mama. It was about her strong willed child and how much her child had taught her. It resonated with me so much that I asked her if I could share her text. Midiman is still my biggest challenge, my mirror. We are a lot alike! A couple of weeks ago he turned 5 and what I realized is that we are in a dance, together. Learning and teaching, each other, together.

 Acting Out Hugs


I myself am full of emotions. Remember that I said that when he is acting out and actually is having a hard time, everything inside of me screams STOP! Remember? So, what do I know. I am still learning myself. To feel what is going on inside of me, what I need. How I can cope with all these emotions.

I feel that I expect so much of these little people, my children. I ask them to behave, to be quiet, to listen, to be attuned to their emotions. While I am still figuring it out myself.

So here I am. I decided to not fight it anymore. When my kids are acting out and I feel myself getting angry, that is my cue. This is the moment that they need me the most. They don’t need a mom that freaks out on them, they need me to breathe, be calm and guide them through their emotions. They need love and hugs. They need me to be like a captain that sails his boat through a wild sea. Until they can do it themselves.




So what do I do when my kid is acting out and my first impulse is to bite his heads off? First I start with self care and I breathe. I make sure I have my feet on the ground to connect and feel grounded. Sometimes the fact that I am breathing and am calming myself down is enough for my kids to calm down as well. I observe the situation. What is going on. And then I act.

If there are two kids fighting I first take care off the kid with the most tears. Or I take both kids on my lap and hug them both. And again we breathe together. Sometimes a hug is enough, sometimes they need more. Miniman always needs the NVC cards to talk about his emotions. We never blame or shame, we talk about what happened in an observing way. The most challenging part with Midiman was, that he would hurt himself. But recently that got a lot better. Holding him helps a lot.

I placed myself in their position. Being a little person with all these emotions, feeling helpless. And instead of that big person helping me, he or she would do nothing that was helpful at all. And that made me feeling really sad. I see a big shift in my kids now they are being held when they are acting out. They feel seen and safe.

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Post Author: The Art of Home Education

I am a former Business Intelligence Consultant / Account Manager DWH and still work as a freelance photographer. After working for a couple of years (trying, struggling, picking myself up and trying again) we discovered I have Pernicious Anemia and EDS, which I am struggling with daily. Now, I am a SAHM! - I am a mom to four boys and with The Art of Home Education, my husband and I provide our children with the opportunity to learn based on their interests. Our slogan is "Let the journey be shaped by the curiousity of the child…". - You can find us on Instagram , Facebook , Twitter , Pinterest and Google+ .

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