Dealing with a screaming child is never fun. But there’s something particularly heartbreaking when your offspring yells at you to “go away!” or “get out of my room!” Whether these words are coming from an overwhelmed toddler or a moody teen, it’s hard not to feel their sting.
And while you may be tempted to give your kid some space or even appease them in the moment by responding with something along the lines of, “Fine, I’m going!” child clinical psychologist and parenting guidance provider Dr. Becky Kennedy actually advises parents to do the exact opposite.
“The next time your child is totally dysregulated and yells, ‘Get away from me, get out of my room!’ consider this idea—your child is actually terrified,” shares Dr. Becky. “Terrified of herself and terrified of terrifying you.”
Because here’s the thing: Your kid shouting these things at you should be a clear indication that she’s having some big feelings. And big feelings are overwhelming and scary. In fact, the only thing scarier than having those big feelings is being left alone with them, argues the psychologist. So what your child really needs in this moment is not for you to leave, but rather to stay so that they can feel your support and your presence.