Scenario: Jade’s mom asks Jade to choose clothes to wear to school the next day, giving her a choice of 2 outfits. Jade doesn’t choose an outfit. Jade’s mom then chooses one herself and Jane starts crying and screaming.


  • Jade’s mom does not engage too much when Jade is in Yuck.
  • She does not tell Jade how irrational she was being or how her behavior is unacceptable while she is in Yuck, as she knew it wouldn’t help.
  • She does not try to make Jade calm down. 
  • Instead, Jade’s mom notices how her own thoughts make her more upset… and she focuses on staying calm herself .

Mom (thinks): I just GAVE her a choice and she didn’t make one! And now she’s UPSET?!  That doesn’t make sense!
Mom (to Jade): Jade, I just gave you a choice and you didn’t say which one you wanted.

Jade: I want a different outfit!

Mom (thinks): But these are her two favorite outfits! She’s not making sense! Hmm… Maybe something else is going on here?
Mom: Jade… You seem like you’re having a hard time.

Jade (keeps crying and screaming).

Mom (thinks): Yeah, she’s upset about more than the outfit. Ugh, how frustrating! I don’t have time for this… I have so much to do today! But… I know that if I get frustrated with her when she’s upset, she’ll take LONGER to get out of it.
Mom (softly): Jade, do you need a hug?

Jade (rudely): NO! Leave me alone! 

Mom (thinks): She doesn’t want a hug? And how she’s being rude? I can’t let her get away with that… Except that dealing with this now won’t do ANY good. What else can I possibly do make this go better? … Well wait, what do I want when I’m upset? Not much. I just want someone to leave me alone. But not in a mean way.
Mom: Jade, I’m right here. (She waits quietly but doesn’t say anything else.)

Jade (keeps crying). 

Mom (thinks): I’m just going to let her get out all of her Yuck because I know she’ll be better when she does. I hope this doesn’t take long!! We have to be somewhere…. (Pauses.) Wait, when I think about that it just makes me more upset. And when I’m more upset, Jade’s more upset. If I really want to help Jade — and make this go faster — I’m just going to focus on staying calm myself. Otherwise this will get out of control.Jade’s mom focuses on her own breathing instead of making Jade calm down. 

​​​​After a while, Jade comes over to her mom. She doesn’t say much, but she goes over and chooses an outfit. 

Jade’s mom thinks about how much longer this situation would have taken if she’d lost her cool.



This situation would not have gone the same way if Jade’s mom did not proactively…

  • Know how to handle her own Yuck (and recognize that her thoughts were making her Yuck worse)
  • Understand that Jade’s behavior was a symptom of her Yuck and that insisting that she act more logically would not help
  • Understand how to handle Jade’s Yuck by letting her follow the Yuck curve
  • Deposit into her relationship with Jade so that she could serve as a “safe” person that helps her calm down instead of making her more upset