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Discussion Starter #1
Just curious what your instinct is with meltdowns- do you feel compelled to fix them/give in when your dc is crying and obviously having a hard time with your decision? Do you want to stick to your decision, but have a hard time doing it?<br>
Is your gut reaction to stick to your no even harder, the more tantrumy dc gets?<br><br>
Just wondering, because I'm the latter. I'm wondering if I should feel like a cold callous person because of it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Hmmm. Good question, sinceI'm dealing with ALOT of 2 yo meltdowns lately. I have some sort of sensory thing. Noise really really bothers me. And of course, unhappy noise (crying, screaming, whining) from those I love the most is really bothersome. My first reaction is to stop the noise. EIther by giving in or telling dd to stop screaming.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> However, I dont feel like either of those reactions is conveying the message I want to send, so I am working on reacting in a different manner. I want to be able to accept her feelings for what they are, be there for support, not necessarily give in, but not withold something because I feel I should 'teach her' not to do that. I keep telling myself, "She has a right to feel however she feels. I have the choice to walk away if I am getting frustrated. She needs my help to work through those big feelings." It's become my mantra these days!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I always remember that if dd has a major meltdown over a simple thing--like not getting to watch a video or a friend having to go home--usually she's either overtired or needs a snack (or both). I don't leave her alone; hold her if she'll let me.<br><br>
And I don't give in--but I also don't feel callous about it. I try not to say 'no' unless I've a really good reason in the first place.<br><br>
What happens is that after awhile, she accepts a drink of water and/or a snack, or perhaps decides to nurse and conks out completely, and then she's fine.
 

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My natural impulse is usually to try to fix things. If the meltdown is over some decision I've made, I'm likely to reconsider the decision. When DD was younger, I had some doubt about whether "giving in" was okay, but eventually decided it was just fine to change my mind when I saw that something was a bigger deal for her than I had thought it would be. (As long as it wasn't dangerous or hugely inconvenient for me.)
 

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Our first melt down for dd1 was when she was about 7. Never had one yet for dd2!<br><br>
putting aside the valuable head ups mentioned above (tired, hungry, needs hugs), there is the touchy subject of unreasonable adult decisions.<br><br>
I noticed that our children did head for frustration if another adult thought they could/should control the children before DW or I intercepted it, eg my parents or other "well meaning adults".<br><br>
When I noticed that my kids started to become frustrated with me, I'd examine very carefully my motivation for control. Basically, my "line in the sand" became Health and Safety, rather than my convienience.<br><br>
In my book, unreasonable adult behavior that cause MDs are punitive measures such as "you can't have the icecream because you were rude" or "this toy is confiscated because you didn't do this that the othe that I asked you to" or even simply "because I say so".<br><br>
There must be a really long list of dumb adult behavior that I realized I was suseptable to.<br><br>
Having thought through my reasons for setting limits that were not H&S, I would have to be able to explain them, and if I am shown by my children that I am being reasonable, then I change. Otherwise I stick to my guns.<br><br>
Here is an example. I eat chocolate. dd asks "Can I have some?" "No, it has too much sugar, but I can get you sugar free choc. Shall we get some for you tomorrow?"<br><br>
there are other examples, but it's narly 1am! time for bed!<br><br>
but be reasonable, and stick to your guns!<br><br>
as
 

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We always stuck to our guns. Sometimes we could cajole our boys out of a tantrum by saying "Do you think if you yell and scream lonud enough I'll change my mind? Go on, give it a try!" They would scream louder, I would look throughtful, then say "Nope, didn't work". Of course I would never do that with a serious tantrum - the timing had to be just right.<br><br>
But by being consistent, and NOT changing our minds, our sons eventually learned that tantrums do not get them what they want, and they stopped having them.<br><br>
Menawhile, what we did when a child was having a fit was to put him in another room - not a time-out - the child could come out of the bedroom as soon as he felt in control enough to stop screaming (sometimes that happened immediately, sometimes it took longer). The philosophy at our house is that you are entitled to have a fit, but the rest of the family isn't obligated to listen to it. I would carry him to a bedroom, and ask "Lights on or off? Door open or closed? Sit on the bed or on the chair?" I think having control over those little decisions helped him feel like maybe he had some control in his life after all. After a few minutes I would go in, and if he wanted me to stay, I would. But if he came out of the room still screaming and crying, I would carry him back, and tell him he could come out and join the rest of the family when he was ready to stop crying.<br><br>
Usually he would come bouncing out of the room a few minutes later, like a light switch had been turned off - smiling, cheerful, ready to move on.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mommy2abigail</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7938881"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My first reaction is to stop the noise. EIther by giving in or telling dd to stop screaming.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></div>
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Yeah, that's my problem. Not the giving in, but telling ds to stop, which, of course, doesn't do any good and isn't the message I want to send anyways. lol.<br>
I think if I can change that, then I feel pretty good about the way I deal with meltdowns. I stay with him (if he wants) and try to meet the underlying need. But I don't "give in" just to stop a scene or stop his unhappiness.<br>
Maybe I do need to be more flexible in changing my mind, though? Hmmm...
 

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The chocolate example is an interesting one....dh and I had a long talk early on about whether we would try to go sugar free for dd. Our feeling then and now was that unless we ourselves were willing to give it up completely, it wasn't fair to dd.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Speaking of chocolate...is it lying if I intentionally go into the kitchen when ds is busy playing, so I can eat candy and he won't know about it?<br>
I'm obsessively honest with ds, and I'm not sure about this one...lol
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Deva33mommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7949876"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Speaking of chocolate...is it lying if I intentionally go into the kitchen when ds is busy playing, so I can eat candy and he won't know about it?<br>
I'm obsessively honest with ds, and I'm not sure about this one...lol</div>
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I think only if he asks! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
My problem is that our main "fix" is a bag of semi-sweet chips we keep in the freezer...and dd knows perfectly well the crackle of the bag.
 

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I try to make sure I have a good reason for saying no, but honestly sometimes I say no without thinking. So if I really don't have a reason for saying no, then I will give in to a tantrum, but I will explain "You know, I really did not have a reason for saying no and I have thought about it and you can _________". I make sure they know why I am giving in.<br><br>
But if there is a valid reason for me to say no, then I stick to my guns. Last night, my DD threw a large cupful of water out of the tub (we have hardwood floors so the water is very damaging). I have given her ample warnings in the past and even reminded her numerous times last night, told her where she could pour water, gave her other things to play with and none of that worked. I took her out of the bath and told her she was done. She cried and cried and begged to get back in, but I did stick to my guns. It was really really hard and I wasn't feeling good and the easy way out would have been to give in.
 

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I'm not sure I agree that children only meltdown because everyone *else* is being unreasonable. I think children are people too and capable of the poor judgment, unreasonable thinking, and selfish motivations the rest of us feel.<br><br>
Very often adults ARE unreasonable, FAR more often than society helps us realize. Many tantrums are the result of the parent being the inflexible selfish one who wants it their way on their terms, not the other way around.<br><br>
But I disagree ALL tantrums happen for that reason, or that the only gentle approach is to back off and give a child whatever they are demanding from us with their angry or upset energy. I also don't think the energy itself is bad or wrong or should be punished--but just because my child is upset doesn't automatically make their demand sacrosanct.
 

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I have to admit there are times I really get irritated. And it's not usually when I've said "no" to something - it's when DD is melting down because I'm not doing something quickly enough for her, or someone does something differently than the way she wanted it done, or she is melting down because she wanted to do something herself even though she is having trouble and unwilling to let us help her (crying because she can't do something yet).<br><br>
I don't know why but those instances drive me crazy...I get really defensive and I'm like "oh quit crying" - eek! Maybe it's because if I'm saying no, it's a choice I've made but if she is melting down over something not in my control it's more irritating? Not sure...need to think about this more....<br><br>
Anyone else know what I mean?<br>
peace,<br>
robyn
 

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Discussion Starter #14
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hippymomma69</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7952166"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't know why but those instances drive me crazy...I get really defensive and I'm like "oh quit crying" - eek! Maybe it's because if I'm saying no, it's a choice I've made but if she is melting down over something not in my control it's more irritating? Not sure...need to think about this more....<br><br>
Anyone else know what I mean?<br>
peace,<br>
robyn</div>
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I know what you mean. I was just telling dp yesterday that if ds whines because he can't have what he wants, that I can deal with that. That makes sense to me. What bothers me to no end is when he's whining about something that I'm *obviously* going to do. Sometimes, he'll ask then whine about it half a second later. Sometimes his first request in in a whine.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Deva33mommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7953776"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know what you mean. I was just telling dp yesterday that if ds whines because he can't have what he wants, that I can deal with that. That makes sense to me. What bothers me to no end is when he's whining about something that I'm *obviously* going to do. Sometimes, he'll ask then whine about it half a second later. Sometimes his first request in in a whine.</div>
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<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> nice to know I'm not alone here.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hippymomma69</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7952166"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have to admit there are times I really get irritated. And it's not usually when I've said "no" to something - it's when DD is melting down because I'm not doing something quickly enough for her, or someone does something differently than the way she wanted it done, or she is melting down because she wanted to do something herself even though she is having trouble and unwilling to let us help her (crying because she can't do something yet).<br><br>
I don't know why but those instances drive me crazy...I get really defensive and I'm like "oh quit crying" - eek! Maybe it's because if I'm saying no, it's a choice I've made but if she is melting down over something not in my control it's more irritating? Not sure...need to think about this more....<br><br>
Anyone else know what I mean?<br>
peace,<br>
robyn</div>
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Oh my gosh, YES! This drives me absolutely CRAZY!!<br><br>
I am having the hardest time dealing with my dd tantrums out in public right now. Most of the times I'm a "stick to my guns" kinda person, but when she tantrums in public in certain places I find I don't know what to do. If it is a store, I don't seem to have a problem setting everything down and picking her up and taking her out to cry then calm down. When I pick her up at her preschool (very gentle disp. place), I feel like I have lost my brain and don't know what to do.<br><br>
Very strange.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Isamama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7954267"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am having the hardest time dealing with my dd tantrums out in public right now. Most of the times I'm a "stick to my guns" kinda person, but when she tantrums in public in certain places I find I don't know what to do.</div>
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This is where I am at. At home, it's easy to redirect and she is a lot more open to it and cuddling to calm down. In public, she just freaks out even harder when I try to console her. I usually just try to get out of the store as fast as I can, but walking out with a screaming kid while looking like I'm ignoring her does not look that great on my part either.
 

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We do a little of both. If it's something that hurts someone and they've been warned, we stick with what we said.<br><br>
For example, we have an 8' square of dirt in our yard. When we moved, we had them sod the rest of the yard except that because we want to plant a garden. But the boys love digging in it so much that we decided to leave it until they're older (although it's been too frustrating lately so I'm thinking we need to figure out something else to do with it). Sometimes they take a little shovel full of dirt and throw it at a brother. The brother always cries because they just got hit unexpectedly in the face with dirt. So now our rule is if you throw dirt AT someone, you will come inside. We've tried saying they can't play in the dirt but that doesn't work. We always give the reminder before they head out. So when dirt is thrown, the offender comes in. He's usually really mad about it and sometimes cries, but we don't give another chance on that.<br><br>
Sometimes we re-evaluate our "no" though. For example, last weekend all three boys were taking every single toy and putting it in one boys closet. I saw what they were doing and snapped at them to stop and put toys back where they belong. One of the younger boys started to cry (probably partially from disappointment and partially because my tone was not kind). I walked away for a minute and thought about it. I decided that they weren't hurting anything. They were having fun. It was just my OCD tendency for things to be where they belong, which wasn't fair to them. So I walked back in and told them that I could see they were having fun and they weren't hurting anything, so if they cleaned up when they were done, they could keep doing it. Everyone was happy. (except me since they actually wouldn't clean up when they were done...not sure how to handle that one. I helped them but they really weren't much help at all)
 

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I have been known to reconsider a decision based on DS' reaction. I'm human and I'm not going to make him suffer if I reacted too quickly or put my foot down when it wasn't that great of an idea.<br><br>
I try not to put my foot down unless I really feel it is warranted, though. If I'm sure that I'm doing the right thing it's not too hard to deal with the reaction.
 

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I agree with a PP that stating the reason out loud like "This time I think I will change my mind" is a good approach when it's appropriate. I like to model flexibility as well as be consistent (yes, I know those are vaguely opposing values <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">).<br><br>
But I also have learned from my husband and in my own life that sometimes crying and even yelling (at least for kids, and I don't mean AT someone) is just - okay. We were leaving my MIL's home this weekend and my son started to cry and meltdown and I was trying to fix it and my husband very wisely said "he's sad and angry! let him be sad and angry!"<br><br>
So for those things I just say "you're sad... you're angry.... I'm here." Sometimes being there is all we can do and that's just fine.
 
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