Navigating life and the emotions that come with it can be difficult. As we embrace and understand how our children react to the world, we can support them through it.
Whether as children or even as adults, we often encounter moments in life that really seem difficult, overwhelming, or unfair. Some people see the world in black and white and have difficulty problem-solving and feeling calm when something doesn’t fit into their way of thinking. As parents, how can we help our children move past these moments?
Miriam Manela Frankel OTR/L of BLOOM has created a method called the Thrive Kishke Method to guide parents in understanding what their child is thinking, achieving flexibility and perspective with their child, dealing with strong emotions, and helping their child to regulate and calm down.
This blog will offer helpful tips and examples to acknowledge your child’s feelings and get to the core of their feelings to best support them in their emotions, learn and understand other perspectives, and problem-solve ways to deal with challenging emotions.
Beyond the Thrive Kishke Method, BLOOM offers countless resources to support parents as they guide their children–discover courses on Emotional Control and Regulation, Impulsivity, Aggression, and more.
Understanding Extreme Emotions
Kishke is a food (a Yiddish word meaning intestines) made using oil, flour, water, carrots, celery, and onion that are ground together to form a loaf. Typically, the Kishke is put into a chili-type stew and cooked. When the “chili” is served, a slice of Kishke is included with each bowl.
Because “kishke” is served in the middle of something and literally means “intestines” or “insides”, we use the word to say we are getting to the depths of what someone is thinking or feeling.
When someone is very emotional or unemotional, meaning extremes in either behavior, they may turn to you to help them by connecting their thoughts and feelings eleven if they do not make sense or you don’t agree with their thought process. They want you to understand and feel these strong emotions with them. Many will also exhibit signs of avoidant or anxious attachment and other emotional challenges.
To understand that adult or child, connect to the core of their feelings and thoughts (i.e., kishke).
Dealing with Unfairness
Let’s start with a real-life example. You have a child who says something is unfair: “Jack is getting a dessert, and I didn’t get one!!”
As a parent, this is how you can respond to your child noticing the unfairness of his brother Jack getting dessert when he did not get any, “You are soooo disappointed. This does not seem fair at all to you! Jake got a dessert; therefore, you should also get a treat too. That is so not fair! Especially since yesterday, Jack was not nice to you. It seems unfair that Jack gets a dessert today! ”
As part one, The Kishke method breaks down your response:
-You recognize how the child is feeling.
-You recognize their behavior.
-You acknowledge that they think they know better.
You get into their gut to really understand what they are thinking and feeling, CONNECT to it, and then outwardly acknowledge it using the pitch of your voice, nonverbal effect and words. The goal is to intensely be in your child’s feelings to see how they view the situation, even if you do not agree with it or the feelings do not make sense.
If you have questions about how to use the Thrive Kishke Method, share, comment, and consider joining our Whatsapp group. This method is helpful in generating energy, movement, questions, and thoughtful conversation. Join the BLOOM community!
3 Parts of the Thrive Kishke Method for Teaching Unfairness
- The first part requires verbal and nonverbal effects to show you connect to how the person is feeling and what they’re thinking.
- The second part is very short, with little or no effect. You say how this makes you feel or how it makes someone else feel. You might say, “Your comment made me feel hurt.” “I’m feeling uncomfortable or hurt by this conversation.” In the example of Jack and his brother, you can say, “I’m feeling frustrated that you’re not understanding why I gave your brother an extra dessert.” Or you can establish a boundary by saying, “We don’t yell at Dad,” or “It’s not okay to hit.”
- For part three, which is not always a necessary part of the method, you problem-solve five different ways to deal with the issue:
- The negative–what you think is negative and what you don’t want the person to choose. You offer the negative as an option, so your child has the option of the negative choice but chooses to make a positive choice. This gives your child a locus of control as they learn to choose positive or negative ways to solve issues and then learn the consequences of their choices. For example, “Keep yelling and screaming about not getting dessert.” This can be followed up by what the consequence will be.
- You can let it go and realize that not everything seems fair all the time.
- You can take a break from the conversation and return to it when you are both calm. “Let’s go play outside and talk about this later.”
- Use your words. For example, “If you want dessert, you could ask me nicely.”
- For example, “You can arrange with me to have dessert on another night.”
Proven Parenting Methods
Much of parenting is trial and error as you determine what responses and techniques work best for your child. With decades of experience working with neurodiverse children and families, Miriam Manela Frankel OTR/L’s proven strategies are a great launching point as parents navigate parenting.
From the Thrive Kishke Method, you have the tools as a parent to better guide your child in understanding the difficult emotions and feelings they will encounter in life and dealing with these feelings in a healthy way.