The Word “NO”
Every kid has what I like to call meltdowns. You might know them as tantrums. I call them meltdowns because something happens before that leads up to the meltdown. Every kid has them and it’s perfectly normal. The meltdowns can be triggered by so many different things. Take a moment to think about what might cause them from going your sweet little one to a crying screaming mess. We all get angry, lose our patience, lose our tempers, and no one likes to hear the word “no”. I want you to think about the last time someone told you “NO”.
How did it make you feel? I can tell you how it made me feel, it pissed me off. It only made me push it to the tenth degree finding a way around the answer to eventually get what I wanted. Listen, I tell my son “no” all the time like so many mama’s say to protect our little one from there over curious minds that can get them hurt. “Don’t Play on the steps”, “Don’t run”, “Don’t jump on the bed”. Sound familiar? Those are all considered no’s. They think it’s us saying no to having fun, but we know it’s because we don’t want them to get hurt.
Parents Have Moments Too!
When you tell them not to do something or no, you need to explain why and “because I said so” is not an explanation. I said that once to my son and I cringed as my Dad’s words fell out of my mouth and onto my little ones stunned ears. I can’t even remember what it was about now, but I was frustrated and it just came out. We are all bound to sound like one of our parents at sometime or another so I didn’t beat myself up about it. What I learned from it was to try and stop, take a breath or a few deep breaths before reacting.
In learning this, I was able to understand the problem faster. It made it easier to calm him down talk about it instead of screaming bloody murder over not getting what he wants. The fastest way to get over a meltdown is to avoid the all together but that’s just not reality. They have to learn boundaries. It’s our job to teach them and it’s their job to push them. How else are they going to learn right from wrong? We are trying to raise good people. Meltdowns are just part of that and that’s ok. You want them to be able to show their feelings and voice their opinions. We can also take that opportunity to show them a better way to get their point across.
How To Handle The Meltdown
Here is what I do when my son is freaking out and having a meltdown. I take the time to ask him what’s wrong usually the answer is you someone told him “no”. First thing is to calm him down. There is no way your child is listening to you when they are crying. We usually start with telling him that we can’t understand him when he is crying so he needs to calm down. He usually agrees and take 3 deep breaths to get himself to calm down.
To be honest I usually do the deep breaths with him. It helps us both calm down because I am usually just as frustrated as he is. Then once he is calm I explain why it’s a no and then suggest another activity to distract him from what he originally wanted. Then there are other times where they can be just downright disrespectful and that is a big no no in my house. We do not tolerate disrespect. I am a firm believer in time outs and will give them out as needed. I am understanding not a pushover. There is a difference.
We all have our limits and that is one of mine. Another one of my other limits is being ungrateful. My son wants for nothing. My house looks like Toys R’ Us relocated to my home. I’m not kidding, but as you will hear me say over and over he is my everything. Now when we tell him he can’t have something he still gets upset. Just not to the point of a meltdown. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t always like that, it takes work. I have come home more than once to a stern looking Daddy and a very sad little boy. If I come home to a silent home I know something went wrong. I am thankful it doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. I cringe when I ask how everyone’s day was and the crazy spills out.
One time my husband pulled our son out of Target because he demanded a toy and was told no because he already had something like it. Well that lead into a meltdown in the middle of the store. My husband is a good man and an amazing father, but he has his limits so they left. The way we handle it is we don’t cave. He is taken out of whatever store we are in and told why he can’t get whatever toy he wants. We explain to him that there are kids out there that are less fortunate and he should be grateful for what he has. Being grateful hits close to home for me. I know what it is to grow up with being grateful for what I had. My dad was a single parent to three kids and he did what he could.
The good news is that my son has learned that acting out will get him nothing. However he is my child after all, he has learned a way around it. He knows what he wants and has a compelling argument why he needs a specific toy. I have lost count of how many times I have agreed to buy a toy or do something because well when the kid is right he’s right. That’s how we got talked into doing a light up parade in the middle of my living room twice a week for months. The idea was genius so we did put on a parade.
You Got This
Listen to me I know how hard it can be to discipline your child because you love them, but you can’t be afraid of the meltdown. It really is just a part of parenthood. Full disclosure I am not the the first person volunteering to discipline my son, but when it needs to be done I do it because I want him to know boundaries.
Mama’s hear me when I tell you it’s ok to lose your patience and get frustrated with your kids. It happens, it doesn’t make you a bad mama, it makes you a mama who cares. Just remember just like they need to take a breath you need to take a breath as well. Give yourself some grace you got this.