We all have those days that our children seem to be throwing tantrums and having meltdowns ALL day! It seems in the midst of these difficult days patience is far from our mind, frustration and irritability on the other hand come flying out of our mouths in the form of harsh words. At times it seems that the idea of just getting through our children’s meltdowns with patience instead of anger is NEVER going to be possible!
We have to be to school on time, but the kids are refusing to get dressed and eat breakfast. We are visiting family and one of our little blessings thinks it is a great time to give everyone the silent treatment. There are just days that we feel like we cannot possibly handle another meltdown and we certainly cannot do it with patience.
Expecting Too Much
Everyday I have the same fight with my five-year old about what I expect from him in the morning. To me it is so simple… go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, make your bed, get dressed, eat breakfast and put your shoes on. I reiterate this same routine everyday and am always met with the same response… a flailing, screaming, and grumpy little man. He is NOT a morning person and I should not expect that to change because it is just a part of him, just like being full of energy and joy by six A.M. is a part who I am.
I know he is going to have a meltdown every morning. I know my usual response is to get frustrated because now we are running late. I also am well aware that my yelling is NOT changing his inability to wake up cheerful and fast-paced. Am I teaching him to accept people as they are with patience and understanding? Or am I teaching him that if people do not behave in the way we expect them to that it is okay to yell and get frustrated?
Maybe one of your children just happens to be having a rough day. The teacher informed you that they misbehaved all day and refused to listen. First reaction from most parents is to yell at their child and punish them for their lack of respect for authority. We show them that when we get upset with something it is okay to have a meltdown, while telling them it is not okay for them to act out when they are upset. It really doesn’t make to much sense at all.
Remembering that they are only human just like us would really be beneficial for them and for us during these struggles. Going into each day with hopes that our children will do what we want, when we want, will only leave us with disappointment for us and them.
Going into each day with hopes that our children will do what we want, when we want, will only leave us with disappointment for us and them.
So How do We Handle the Meltdowns
I often find that when I am having a rough day a simple hug or kind word can change it around completely. In the moments when you feel like you may rip a child’s head off remember that they are only children. They do not understand how to effectively express themselves. As adults we know that even on bad days we still have to respect our boss, but a child hasn’t yet matured mentally enough to grasp this.
Our children have been blessed to us by God and to us alone. He expects us to manage them as he would and see them through his eyes. Patience, mercy and grace have been bestowed upon us by God and that is exactly what he wants for our children.
Yes, explaining to them that it is not okay to act out and disrespect adults is necessary when these things occur. Punishing and yelling at them may not be quite as necessary though. Did you ever think to ask your child why they were not listening to the teacher today in a calm and kind voice?
Maybe try asking them what happened today and why they seem so upset. A child’s way of expressing grumpiness or sadness is usually by having an outburst or by shutting down. When I am having a bad day sometimes a hug or a kind word is enough to bring it back up, that may be just what your little one needs also. When you start yelling because they behaved outside of your expectation then you are again showing that meltdowns are a good form of expression.
Opening the lines of communication and allowing your child the safe environment to express verbally what has been wrong all day will not only show them how to express things in a healthy manner, but it will create a better mental and emotional environment for your child. We all want what is best for our babies and we all want them to grow up into well functioning adults that can contribute greatness to society. One of the key steps in accomplishing that is making sure they have the ability to express themselves thoroughly and clearly so they can get through the bad days while still being respectful and kind to others.
What can you do to provide an emotionally safer environment for your children?
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