Though it was quite a juggling act to have our two kids home from school, we figured out a way to make it all work. Luckily, we have family close-by and we swapped off which parent would come home early and take all the kids — we ended up having a wonderful time and so did they: They did day camps, and they played with their family every day. Now, it’s time to head back to school from our two week “vacation” and my five-year-old wants nothing to do with it! Help! Modernmom to the rescue, here’s some advice:
What IS A Meltdown?
A meltdown is a tantrum, reports MSNBC, plain and simple: “Depending upon your child’s personality, nature, and style of communicating the outburst can range from simple whining, crying and fussing to a full-fledged fall-to-the-floor, head-banging-free-for-all.
Meltdowns don’t just happen at times of transition, like returning to school from spring break. They happen when you ask your kid to turn off the t.v. tell them it’s bed time or they can’t have a certain toy in the store. But how do you deal with them?
What To Do
If your kid has a meltdown inside the house it’s way easier to manage than if it were in a public place. Take a time – out for both you and your child, that way you can gather yourself and come up with a plan that will be best for your child without being in reaction mode. Then, make a plan and talk to your child, listen, and see if you can create a compromise. It’s very important to make a decision while in a calm mood, so go take a quick shower or do some push-ups!
In a Public Place
Somehow kids find throwing a tantrum in a public place safer, because there isn’t much to do for a mom in terms of discipline. First, try to be proactive in order to avoid the meltdowns. Set up an agreement to set up expectations and set up exactly what will be going on and what you expect. For example: “We are going to the park, but at exactly 5 we’ll have to leave because we have to pick up your brother from soccer. You can bring your girlfriend but if you whine when we have to leave there will be a time-out once we get home. Ok?”
What Do You Do If Another Kid is Throwing a Tantrum?
Do you step in? Make sure you are not too judgmental if you do decide to intervene. Tell the mom who is handling the tantrum that you understand, and it happens to you all the time, and maybe you could watch her kid so she can cool down for a minute or two. Ask her what would help her in this moment, before you assume what she needs. Making sure you understand what she’s going through always makes someone feel so much better — let her talk and just listen, sometimes we all just need to vent.
A great thing to do is to reward your children when they have faced a let down and done it gracefully. Your child will learn to handle frustrating better as he/she grows up. At the very least, acknowledge their behavior as positive, they’ll likely love the positive affirmation so much they will (hopefully) continue their behavior.