Whenever I hear children talk to their parents in rude disrespectful tones out in public, I cringe inside. I call those behaviors in my home, Meltdowns. I cannot handle rude behavior or “meltdowns”. I am a little “Old school” where children SHOULD and WILL give adults respect.
I teach my kids to be respectful towards myself and especially towards other adults. Of course, when they are at home, they can’t be “on” all the time. We have our classic meltdowns, fights, and batshit crazy moments. We aren’t perfect but you better believe that I have the authority and (most times) control over the situations. Some people may think I am a little hard on my kids regarding their behavior but I don’t care. I am not raising assholes here! Do I beat my children senseless? absolutely not. I am not a believer in causing pain to teach lessons. I simply get really close, talk stern and widen my eyes until they pop out. Oh man, I wish I had a picture. My husband thinks I look ridiculous when my “stern mommy” face comes out to play.
A few tips on how to handle meltdowns:
- Understand the situation and what’s going on
a lot of the time meltdowns are a result of kids not feeling in control of their lives or the situation. I know when one of my kids gives me an eye roll, or a rude backtalk, its because I am not fully understanding what is going on and I should probably put my damn phone down and listen to what they are truly saying.
I also like to give my kids choices. I like them to be able to choose what they want to do. When kids feel like they are in control and have a little say in their lives, they will respond better. My daughter is extremely particular about what jams she wear at night. (effin’ jams, I’m dealing with freaking PJ’S) instead of me yelling like crazy at her to hurry and pick some damn pajamas, I simply pick out two different “pretty” styles that she can choose from. That helps me with not losing my shit and helps her feel like she had a choice.
after a big meltdown goes down I always try my hardest to talk to my kids. Sometimes I have even gone as far as recording the meltdown scream fest, to later view it with that child. I never do it when there are other people around. I always do it one on one and especially when calm. It gives me a chance to talk to that child, let him or her know I love them but expect better behavior. I always ask how they felt after watching the video of their behavior. I try to also ask what they and myself could have done differently.
- Consequence not “punishment”
I always come up with a consequence with my child. I will let them choose what consequence would be a better option. I know most parents would think that’s crazy. “Let your kid choose the consequence” but honestly, I think it helps them really understand what type of behavior is acceptable and take the consequence serious. One time my son (bless his heart) decided to throw a huge tantrum and run away from me at a Walgreens. (the story is hilarious) when things calmed down I sat and had a discussion with him on what things we could have done differently. I gave him two options for consequences. It was No kindle fire for a week or no playing with friends for a weekend. He picked no playing with friends for a weekend. Since he picked what type of consequence suited him best, When one of my in-laws came over to ask if he could play, he instantly said “No” and that he was grounded for the weekend.
Now my thought is, if I didn’t sit down a talk to him about what had happened, he wouldn’t have truly understood what he did and why he couldn’t play. I feel like that was a great teaching moment on what type of behavior is accepted and what type of behavior wasn’t.
- Don’t feed the behavior
Now I have to admit, I am bad at this. Sometimes my kids get upset over some ridiculous things and I can’t help but make fun of them. It’s terrible but like I said before…. I’m only human and some days I can’t resist the temptation. When my kids go into that mode of crazy, I try my hardest to stay calm and remain in control because if I don’t stay calm and in control, I am contributing to the behavior and that can potentially make matters or meltdowns worse.
After all is said and done be sure to show love towards your children. Give them hugs, kisses, butterfly kisses or whatever to get them to giggle and feel the love from their parents.
There, you have a few tips I try to stop the meltdowns in your home. There is no job more important than parenting our crazy ass children. It’s our job to teach them and help them grow into wonderful beautiful people… Not Assholes!