When children feel threatened their ‘lower’ brain immediately responds with a fight, flight or freeze reaction.
It is vital that parents not take these responses personally. When your child runs away from you, fights back or just gives you a blank stare it is an indication that their lower brain is in charge at the moment.
Moving into ‘higher level’ abilities that deal with frustration, fear or anger have to be learned.
If you want your child to use words, intellect, reasoning or empathy to deal with their emotions, you need to consistently model the wanted behavior.
Angry time outs, punishments, shame, lectures and forcing them to say, “I’m sorry” do not teach them ‘higher level’ thinking.
Moving from the primitive brain to the higher reasoning brain takes time, patience, practice and consistency.