We worked for years on just getting Audrey to identify emotions. Which she can now do pretty well. Now step 2 is getting her to react appropriately to her own or others' emotions. She likes to laugh her head off when another kid is crying or upset, so we definitely have to work on that.
But right now we're focusing on how she deals with her own emotions...especially "mad" or "irritated". Obv. I mean, who needs to work on dealing with "happy" right? **picturing how she deals with the ecstasy of coming upon a house with the sprinklers on and her "Ee-ee-ee-ee" arm-flappy happy dance** OK, strike that.
The go-to reaction is, of course, scripting. She'll say something like "There aren't enough muffins for anyone else!" Source: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Specifically Daisy Duck. More specifically, some bullshit episode where someone is stealing food from the Clubhouse and they have to figure out who it is. Well, maybe that isn't that specific because there are about 90 episodes like this.
Sometimes she will make an attempt to talk herself down from the ledge, and say something like "I can handle it when someone else answers the door!" But I'm just not sure that it counts when it's said in a high-pitched wail while bawling her eyes out.
But my absolute favorite, and her most common reaction, is when she pulls out something from the past that she was taken to task for but has nothing to do with the situation at hand. So, say we are talking about someone else answering the door. She'll say "I get mad when I cannot have hot chocolate!" Huh?
Another favorite, said when she is especially irate "WE DON'T HAVE TIME TO DANCE!!!" To which I always respond, "Go ahead, dance! I wish you would! If it would distract from this tantrum, by all means DANCE." Yeah, we have a lot of really constructive conversations in this household.
These scenes are especially sweet when they are played out in public, and we end up saying these really effed up things to each other. This one played out in Target when I tried to peel her away from stimming on the automatic doors:
"Audrey, come on, that's enough, we gotta go."
"Maybe I'll smell my toes next time!"
"You can smell your toes in the car. Let's go."
"But we don't have time to smell my feet!"
"We've got plenty of time. You can smell your feet all you want, but IN THE CAR. Let's go!"
"I should NOT smell my feet!'
"I just told you that you could smell your feet. You're not mad about smelling your feet. You're mad because you have to stop making the automatic doors open and close. Say what you're really mad about!"
"I cannot smell my feet."
Ugh. Is it wrong for me to long for the day when she'll just cuss me out like a typical kid?