I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying and appreciating a book that my sister Gayle recommended to me; I mentioned it in my last post. It's How We Love Our Kids by Milan and Kay Yerkovich.
One kind of harrowing parenting moment is the "unreasonable meltdown." This seems to take place away from home, most times, right? An audience makes it that much harder to navigate.
A situation like this (sometimes referred to as a tantrum) occurs mostly with young children, but older ones sometimes have very strong feelings about things that manifest in this way, too. In the early pages of the Yerkovich book, a scenario is described; we would all do well to remember it!
A seven year old is beside herself at the sight of a porch full of Halloween décor at the babysitter's house. There is screaming, crying, clinging, refusal to exit the car, etc. A mom tries the usual pep talk.
"They're just plastic."
"You're getting too old for this."
Etc. – you get the picture!
Then she remembers something she recently learned in a workshop – and gives it a whirl. "How do you feel?" (The child answers, "Scared.") "How can I help?" (The child generates a solution – it involves her hiding her eyes until they get into the house). She then says, "Thanks, Mommy – that really helped me."
The point is that we need to acknowledge their feelings and set up a chance for them to problem solve. We need to offer comfort, rather than lectures. The result is often a win-win situation. Who doesn't love that?
If your child is younger than the child in this example, s/he will grow into that kind of verbal skill with opportunities (and modeling from you) over time.
Best wishes to you and your kiddles as you all learn to handle yourselves with grace and skill in tough situations. My mother-in-law was not a woman who regularly dispensed compliments, but she once told me, "You have been such a good mother." Those words really meant a great deal to me! I can't take a lot of credit for the ideas that I was using; I read about them in books like this one. (See past posts for other helpful titles).
I made a fuss
at the mall –
went off just
like a bomb.
that I'm the mom.