Your 4R Response Plan:
Meltdowns & Big Emotions
Follow the 4R Response Method to create your custom plan that will help you to support your children when they’re having a meltdown.
**Note from Jess**
I still think these overview videos would be extremely valuable, but here’s how I’d script them out:
“You’re on the right page if (**Give a few homework struggle examples). Below this video you’ll find a link to download the 4R Response Plan template. Do that first, and then work your way through the 4R Response Method and putting them into your plan. When you’re done, you’ll have a custom solution for deaing with this behavior in your home. It shouldn’t tkae you more than <30 Minutes> to work through this exercise. And once you do, work this plan for the next few weeks and watch the homework behaviors change! If you get stuck or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to tag me in the Facebook group. And be sure to share your win there once you’ve tried out this plan!”
Download Your 4R Response Plan
Click here or on the graphic below to download the The 4R Response Method plan that you’ll complete for dealing with the metldowns in your home.
Then follow the steps below to fill in your custom 4R Response Method plan. Instructions for each step are in italics.
REDUCE YOUR YUCK About Big Emotions
Take 10 minutes or less (don’t get bogged down on this!) and answer each question below:
- Why do I get triggered about these big emotions?
Consider what you’ve learned in the past about how children should express emotions and what your fears of the future are if this issue doesn’t get resolved.
- How would my Parenting Avatar would address this situation?
Remember to focus on action you can take that aligns with your values and is in your control. If you could handle meltdowns in a way that would make you feel proud, what would that look like?
- What FUEL do I need in order to get there?
What do YOU need in order to be able to align your response with your Avatar?
- What do I need to do in order to get that fuel?
Do you need to set boundaries? Enlist support? Or something else?
FILL IN YOUR PLAN:
RECORD YOUR ANSWERS IN THE “REDUCE YOUR YUCK”
SECTION OF THE 4R RESPONSE PLAN TEMPLATE.
IDENTIFY ROADBLOCKS that Lead to Big Emotions
Next, use this resource to identify WHY your child is having big emotions. Remember that roadblocks are usually related to your Expectations, their missing Skills, or their Yuck.
Common roadblocks related to meltdowns are:
- Our expectations aren’t consistent, and when they think there is a chance they might get something and don’t, they’re even more disappointed.
- We expect them to handle their Yuck maturely, without expressing it the way they are.
- They haven’t mastered the skill of handling Yuck in without turning it out or in.
- They haven’t mastered the skill of thinking flexibly and solving problems maturely.
- They haven’t mastered the skill of transitioning from one task to another.
- Being tired or hungry (biological Yuck) leads to less tolerance.
- They feel out of control in the situation and with their emotions (emotional Yuck).
- They feel like we don’t care about their point of view (emotional Yuck).
FILL IN YOUR PLAN:
What are your child’s roadblocks?
IF ANY OF THE ABOVE ARE RELEVANT, RECORD THAT IN THE “IDENTIFY ROADBLOCKS” SECTION OF THE 4R RESPONSE PLAN TEMPLATE.
CIRCLE ONE ROADBLOCK YOU HAVE THE DESIRE & ENERGY TO TACKLE RIGHT NOW. FOCUS ON THAT ROADBLOCK IN THE LAST TWO SECTIONS.
RESPOND Effectively To Big Emotions
FIRST, let’s remember what IS and isn’t in your control when you’re trying to motivate better school-related behavior:
What is NOT in your control in this situation?
Hint: How they respond is not in your control.
What IS in your control?
Hint: How you perceive their behavior or attitude, how you respond to them, and the behavior you model are all in your control.
SECOND, answer these question to help you build a custom when-then statement for handling your schoolwork situation in the moment:
- What will you do to REGULATE yourself? This should be a story you tell yourself or action you take (a Yuck Release Strategy) that will reduce the threat of the situation in your mind.
- What will you do to show that you care about the ROADBLOCK you’re addressing? This can be done through words (stating their perspective) or energy (which comes from viewing them as having a problem, not being a problem).
- What do you need in order to let them ROUND the Yuck Curve? This usually requires you to not DO or SAY much. It’s about being present while not getting sucked into the Yuck.
FILL IN YOUR PLAN:
What will your in-the-moment response plan be?
RECORD YOUR ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS IN THE “RESPOND EFFECTIVELY” SECTION OF THE 4R RESPONSE PLAN TEMPLATE.
CREATE YOUR CUSTOM WHEN-THEN STATEMENT.
“RESPOND EFFECTIVELY” RESOURCES
– Example: When-Then Statements related to big emotions
Build Your ROUTINES to Foster Resilience
Finally, identify a proactive ROUTINE that will start to reduce likelihood of the big emotions to begin with.
Look back at the schoolwork Roadblock you circled in your 4R Response Plan and find the Routine below that addresses it. In many cases, you’ll also see a link to a resource that tells you how to create that routine!
Expectation-Based Roadblocks and Routines
⚠️ ROADBLOCK = Our expectations aren’t consistent so they get really upset when they don’t get their way
? ROUTINE = Identify rules and boundaries that you can follow through with
Skill-Based Roadblocks and Routines
⚠️ ROADBLOCK = They haven’t mastered the skill handling Yuck maturely
? ROUTINE = Teach them to cope with Yuck more effectively
⚠️ ROADBLOCK = They haven’t mastered the skill of thinking flexibly and solving problems
? ROUTINE = Teach them flexible thinking and problem solving skills
⚠️ ROADBLOCK = They haven’t mastered the skill of transitioning from one task to another
? ROUTINE = Help them learn how to transition with less discomfort
Yuck-Based Roadblocks and Routines
⚠️ ROADBLOCK = They feel out of control in the situation and with their emotions
? ROUTINE = Deposit into their “Control” account
⚠️ ROADBLOCK= They feel like we don’t care about their point of view
? ROUTINE = Deposit into their “Significance” account
FILL IN YOUR PLAN:
NOTE THE ROUTINE YOU’LL FOCUS ON
IN THE “SCHEDULE ROUTINES” SECTION OF THE 4R RESPONSE PLAN TEMPLATE AND GRAB YOUR LINKED RESOURCE.
(You might also want to decide when you’ll work on this routine!)
Sample Completed 4R Response Plans for Big Emotions
Want some examples? Check out these completed plans:
– Sample 4R Plan: Daughter yells “I hate you” when I don’t give her what she wants
– Sample 4R Plan: Son gets angry or upset when he can’t do something well the first time
If you’ve got your plan, but want to learn even more strategies for what causes this behavior, and how to deal with it, I’ve included documents, videos and podcast episodes for you below:
Document: Yuck Release Strategies
Past Questions from the Facebook group
Want to see what other parents have already asked about big emotions and reactions? I’ve linked to some past questions and answers below.