When our 6-year-old daughter is trying something new and hard (homework, reading a hard word, video games, etc.) she can get into a cycle of frustration and anger that ends with her crying in a ball on the floor.
It starts with her making a mistake, and me correcting it. Normally she's successfully pushed through several hard points already or is tired going in. I've tried variations on "stop", "no", "wait", "hang on" and "just a second", but they all have the same result: a sharp burst of vocal frustration from her, followed by me realising where this is heading and trying to defuse it.
Along the way she may try and take the work somewhere I can't see, or try and complete it quickly even though it's incorrect. She'll complain about not understanding something, but not allow me to explain anything.
Things I've tried to stop the spiral:
- Suggesting taking a break
- Pointing out that it's easy to rub it out and try again
- Walking her through the problem from the start
- Shouting back (?!)
- Pointing out this always ends with her being upset and we should try to avoid that
- Using a calming tone of voice
- Suggesting I do it for her and she copies!
- Noticing when she's tired and prone to frustration and trying to stop the exercise early ("I can do it!") (maybe I can try more forcefully to do this? one time it ended with a similar tantrum)
It ends with her in full-blown tears and one of us leaving the room. It can take 30 minutes for her to calm down at which point she can normally do it.
Has anyone got any more tactics I could try?